(A Theatre whose physical action is the foundation of dramatic content; and whose actor/poets are visceral, responsive, and transformative becoming purveyors and authors of a charged realm.)
For the past 20 years Ronlin Foreman has been developing his principals for training actors and his perspectives on performance and theatre-making at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. He is now on the road again and offering the following workshops, seminars, and lecture/performances, as well as his hallmark theatrical work, “Pigeon Show– A Play of Fools.”
These offerings can be arranged individually or in residency formats. Ronlin is also fielding new projects: collaborations, devised works, directing projects, and performance roles.
Training for the Physical Actor
The Act of Falling
Principles of Engagement
- The nature of play: awareness, availability, and responsiveness of authenticity in effort, identification and the indwelt state, and whose actor/poets are visceral, responsive, transformative authors of this charged realm.
The Performance Dynamics of Commedia, Melodrama, and Clown in Actor Training
Comparisons and explorations
- The development and use of archetype, devised character, plot, story, theme, the bit, point of view, and the relationship to the audience.
The 3 Gestures
- Action (the movement that drives the line of force in a play – literally: the dramatic action)
- The Personal Gesture (the movement that reveals information about habits, personal traits, secret desires, physical afflictions …gestures that give us a better understanding of who a character is)
- Activity (the movement that effects tasks or efforts)
Duration and Dimension
- The implications of dramatic time and space
The Dramatic Trinity
- Character (distillations of the observable)
- Situation (the consequential condition of activity)
- Circumstance (the event—literally, “ around where I stand”)
Devising in Ensemble – the corporative genius: the power of purpose
Physical Comedy – the practice of funny
An Invitation to Play:
- Dangerously with laughter, joyously with terror, authentically with each other
Explorations in comic duos and trios (vaudeville and comic characters)
- The comic turn, physical comedy
Red nose clown explorations:
- With only the a red nose a mask one encounters self, intention, point of view, and funny
- The existential realm of the theatrical clown: studies in repetitions as the basis of the gag and the journey as a basis for the life, illuminating the possibilities of paradox, metaphor, the deep space of the “stage” and it’s flux in relationship with the audience; flights into regions of the surreal and the absurd leave open a full range of emotional engagement where Funny and Laughter, though the imperatives can, yield to the terror and sublimation of solitude.
The actor and the play of the clown –
- Discovering the difference between playing a comic character and evoking a personal clown risk, failure, and vulnerability (Although a number of classroom investigations are undertaken individually performance or devised studies are always in ensemble.)
- The foundations of playing (performing) in mask
- Investigations and explorations with/in three dimensional space – the volume and tensions of the stage as mask
- Instruction in mask making: building with cardboard; explorations with found objects as masks; clay modeling and papier-mâché masks
- The Elemental Mask: dialogues for line and form in space
Note: These are very physical classes. They offer an opportunity to recognize personal habit and convention in the process of discovering authenticity and a vital responsiveness. One should encounter these classes with a willingness to risk failure, to risk laughing, crying, and not understanding. One should be willing to fall literally and figuratively into the unknown. The objective is discovery.
These “encounters” are framed as dialectics for upper-level students or professionals.
- Toward a Dynamic Theatre™ – conversations on: the differences between action, movement and gesture and their effect on dramatic or comedic power, the creation or frustration of meaning and the development of a poetic space for metaphor and paradox?
- Fear, Shame and Failure – the common ground of our experience both to our detriment and ouran examination of the paradox to playing (or – see these as THE things to play with – these are our common ground )
- A Stomach for Critique – leading without showing, via negativa and the provocative way
- The Actor/Poet in a Dynamic Non-Literary Theatre – the metaphysics of physical action and metaphor … the crucible, the plague, and the unknown
- Through a Glass Darkly – touching the metaphysical realities of the theatre — the abyss, the inspiration. Investigating / embracing metaphor and image as the means for communicating “story”
LECTURE/PERFORMANCES Entertaining, informal presentations.
“A Nose by Any Other Name Would Smell”
…an evening of delight, resilience and laughter. This lecture performance features an eccentric arrangement of vignettes and conversation. Fear and failure conspire to become the instigators of laughter via the surprise, the non-sequitur, the interruption, the all-of-a-sudden and the altogether silly. The Clown and the Fool engage to unmask the sources of comedy.
“The Irresistible Beauty of All Things”
Interdisciplinary readings from the visual arts, music, literature, dance… revealing my hope for a revolutionary theatre (a dangerous theatre). Because through or ‘by the dangerous way’ we see and hear that the dilemma is a engine for motion, for action in our lives and loves . One who ‘sees’ and ‘hears’ is dangerous because they lead the “way” and inspire what can become, what others call “revolutionary.” Martha Graham said something like, — I never wanted to be a tree or a river – I didn’t go against ballet – my only desire was to dance significantly. … Others called this “revolutionary”. And this is the irresistible (the terrible) beauty of all things: that we choose to embrace all things as they are. As Rilke says, ‘beauty is only the being of terror which serenely disdains to annihilate us.’
Performance – “Pigeon Show – a play of fools”
This solo performance by Ronlin Foreman is a contemporary commentary, not of political or social struggles, but of personal dilemmas. Using the robust humor of the Commedia dell’arte, the terror of the Grotesque, and the paradoxical provocation of the Fool, Ronlin creates a tour de force with a handful of characters who play (some tragically) with themes of fear, anguish, and the uncertainties of being. Hysterical!
And it is funny and we laugh. And it is sad and we cry. And it is funny and sad and perplexing and we discover ourselves as the character reveals his selves.