Directing Workshops Announced

Location: Rose Bruford College

Actuating the Potential: Directing’s Quantum Moment

Following on from success of the Directing through Exercises workshop earlier this year, these two day-long practical director-training-and-research workshops [which can be experience separately or as a linked pair] will involve a ‘directing-in-dialogue’ approach, include work with professional actors from Presence Theatre, and will be led by two experienced practitioners - Simon Usher (RSC; National Theatre; Royal Court) and Colin Ellwood - with extensive combined experience in both directing and director training.

As before, participants will have a range of opportunities to participate in the directing of featured scenes and also to observe, discuss and evaluate work in relation to a range of dramatic forms and texts, including contemporary work, Shakespeare and Brecht. The workshops will be of value to emerging as well as established practitioners of all levels of experience, and also to anyone with a serious interested it the contemporary and historical practice of directing.

Workshop Leaders Simon Usher/Colin Ellwood.

Workshop 1: ‘The Given’: Directing and Given Form
Saturday 10th December 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Any play is a unique and specific formal structure. The most visible and salient aspect of this is the text.  It could be argued that the core substantive experience of most drama is in the enacting of what might be termed the ‘threshold or moment of articulation’, where silence yields to impulse in the realization of speech [and bodily engagement] as action: theatre’s ‘quantum’ moment.  This workshop explores techniques and approaches through which the director can draw from the material and semiotic aspects of the text realized as the expression of the inductively-inflected, situationally-specific interior unconscious impulse itself.

Fee: £35 (£25 concessions)*

Workshop 2: ‘The Found and the Allowed’: Directing, The Preconscious and Induction
Saturday 17th December 10 a.m. – 4 p.m

Aside from the play text itself, the two ‘axes of resource’ contributing to the director’s process are: the pre-conscious interiority of the performer [and for that matter of he director her/himself] and inducted material from the ‘exterior world’. Different modes

of performance draw on these two axes in varying degrees: Brecht advocates the prioritizing of the latter while Stanislavski, amongst others, offers a framework for incubating the former. Together with the ‘givens ‘ of the play, inducted material creates parameters framing what might be termed the ‘creative space’ within which the continual ‘present-tense’ unconscious of the performer must necessarily be stimulated and brought to bear. This workshops explores practical ways in which material from observation and research can be deployed, and in which the pre-conscious might be unlocked and brought to bear at all stages, and also the balance between these two ‘dimensions’

Fee: £35 (£25 concessions)*

*You can also book onto both workshops for a total price of £60 (£40 concessions)

For more information and to book a place, please contact

Contemporary Directions is a Rose Bruford College research project and website drawing on the college’s extraordinary history of successful director training to explore, contextualize and celebrate the practice of contemporary theatre directing and directing training.

Presence Theatre was formed in 2007, and has since presented a number of performances and rehearsed readings and continues to hold workshops approaching different genres of drama from the actor's and director's perspective. As a registered charity that exists for the public benefit, Presence Theatre aims to involve the largest and most diverse audience that our resources will allow to help to advance the medium in every sphere: art, production, education and community.