The Six Viewpoints and Performance

  • The Six Viewpoints and Performance
  • The Six Viewpoints and Performance
  • The Six Viewpoints and Performance
show all

About this course


One week (six days teaching)

Term Start

Monday 2 to Saturday 7 July 2018

Entry Requirements

Applications are welcome from those aged 18+. Candidates will actively enjoy all aspects of practical drama work, be motivated, and enthusiastically embrace intensive work and rehearsal.

The Six Viewpoints theory and practices constitute a unique and highly effective entrance into theatre and dance.

This workshop focuses on the discovering of how to liberate the materials of Space, Shape, Time, Emotion, Movement and Story in order to discover how they function on stage and how to create with them.  I will dedicate myself to helping you locate or strengthen your voice, message and style as an artist. 

We will briefly focus on locating these materials in a non-hierarchical manner. Then move on to performing radical performance experiments and begin to compose individual material.

Each class will involve ensemble improvisation to substantiate Viewpoints as practice, generating material, and building ensemble skills.

For Actors, Performers, Dancers Theater Makers, Directors and Teachers. 

This course is a teacher training prerequisite to Six Viewpoints Teacher Certification.

Workshop participants will work in groups based on previous experience of Viewpoints. Students who have studied with Mary in previous workshops are invited to attend with a special focus in evenings on advanced work, practice and involvement.

Why choose this course?

  • Professional-level studios and spaces on a leafy green campus;
  • Study with acclaimed international Master Teachers;
  • Intensive study of cutting edge techniques;
  • Take your own practice to the next level.

Fee and Application Information


This course is delivered over six days of intensive full-time training at our Sidcup campus. 

How to Apply

​Course Fees   


Full Fee
£750 (paid in full before 1 June 2018)

Accommodation (if required)
£300 (One week booking) 

Discounts are available to Rose Bruford College alumni – contact us for further information

Course content

The seed of the entire work of The Six Viewpoints is found in the simple act of standing in space. This is the beginning of a paradigm shift that results in postmodern, non-hierarchical studies of performance. From this perspective the artist is invited to read and be educated by the lexicon of daily experience. The information of space, the experience of time, the familiarity of shapes, the qualities and rules of kinetics in movement, the ways of logics, that stories are formed and the states of being and emotional exchanges that constitute the process of communication between living creature. These are the six materials named in The Six Viewpoints that constitute basic deconstructed theatre. Working directly with these materials the artist begins to learn of performance through the essential languages as an independent intelligence.

The experience of entering The Six Viewpoints is entirely different from traditional theatre training. Instead of beginning with the idea of making theatre this approach begins with taking theatre apart. The whole is broken down into its basic materials and their languages. When the material of space is located with clarity the artist can begin a dialogue with its languages discovering how to observe and participate with space.

In entering this work the artist finds that they take possession of the stage and are anchored in its realities free of the opinions of others about how to make theatre. In this undertaking the artist is challenged to develop self-guidance, the discipline of keeping focused and the ability to have perspective. To accomplish this requires a type of physical training that focuses on the body in great detail. This requires educating the mind and body to its function. Underlying training such as Alexander work, Body / Mind Centering, Contact Improvisation, Allen Wayne work, Hamilton Floor work educates the instrument in depth without culturing patterns of movement. This type of approach is essential in that it develops availability to sense rather than to produce.

The simplicity of The Six Viewpoints is based on one on one contact with the basic materials. This approach aligns itself with the eastern practices that rely on the student to find their own truth as part of the understanding encompassing all of life. In this work there is no teacher, no authority to pronounce achievement or failure beyond understanding that any part is a part of the whole.

Course Director – Mary Overlie

Mary Overlie is the originator of the Six Viewpoints, a performance theory and practice, which is now commonly known as Viewpoints and is taught in many universities and colleges in the USA and abroad.  Ms Overlie is the co-founder of two well-known dance institutions in New York City: Movement Research and Danspace at St Mark’s Church. From 1984 to 1994 she worked extensively abroad, as a teacher, choreographer and dancer.  She was a board member and for a time the assistant director of the Pro Series division of the Tanz Wochen Wein.  Overlie was the director of the Viewpoints Studio, a one semester intensive course that was maintained at Tisch School of the Arts Undergraduate Drama at NYU.

She is a former Arts Professor in the Department for Undergraduate Drama at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU).  She was the first faculty hired to begin the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU, 1978 and served as director from 1987 to 1990.

She has received two Bessie Awards first for conceiving the Studies Project for Movement Research and second for her solo “Location of Love” combined with her contributions to the NY dance community. She is a respected member of the avant-garde theatre community collaborating with both Lee Breuer and Joanne Akalities of Mabou Mines, Laurence Sachrow, Anne Bogart and Brian Jusha among others.

She is published in numerous publications: Training the American Actor, edited by Arthur Bartow, Manifesto Now edited by William Daddario and most recently her book, Standing in Space, the Six Viewpoints.

Related Information