Conference of Independent Schools’ Drama Festival 2014

Introduction to Mask and physicality by Lester Trips (Theatre)

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An introduction to Modern Commedia dell’Arte, with a focus on mask work and its relationship to building characters. The students will begin to learn an understanding about this art form and what it has to offer as a training method as well as performance style.

What students can expect to learn :

  • level of physical embodiment required for mask and stage
  • how to articulate the body to support and create characters
  • how to engage the body in response to stimuli
  • understanding the structure of masks and how they relate to building characters
  • creation and play of characters through improvisation

Saturday April 26th
9:00 -10:30am
Havergal College

5 Day BUTOH FOR ACTORS with Denise Fujiwara 2012

hosted by Fujiwara Dance Inventions


Since 2011, members of Lester Trips (Theatre) have been exploring transformation through Denise Fujiwara’s butoh-based embodiment workshops. We have found them to be excellent practice for any artist interested in non-literal, visceral communication, and a very direct way to expand the range of what a performer can embody further into the realm of what they imagine and experience. Denise responded to our interest and created a Butoh for Actors workshop to explore how principles and practices of butoh can extend into vocal, textual and character work.

May 28 – June 1, 2012
12:00 – 4:00pm
Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, 509 Parliament Street, Studio C
Cost: $180

Butoh is a contemporary Japanese form of dance-theatre that trains the body and the imagination by working from vivid internal conditions expressed through intense physicality. Using Butoh as a foundation, we work to reveal an inner life of authenticity, depth and paradox, and to expose one’s humanity in all of its irrationality, ugliness, beauty and mirth. We will work with short pieces of text in this workshop.

Denise Fujiwara has worked as a performer and choreographer for 34 years and trained in Butoh with master choreographer and performer, Natsu Nakajima. She has performed Nakajima’s, haunting solo work, Sumida River, to critical acclaim from coast to coast in Canada and internationally. In 2005 she premiered a second major Butoh work, Komachi, by Yukio Waguri. Ms. Fujiwara has performed and taught workshops across Canada and the U.S., and in the U.K., Denmark, Germany, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and India.

by Carlos Garcia Estevez and Katrien van Beurden of Teatro Punto

hosted by Lester Trips (Theatre) & UC Drama Program


Alaine travelled to Amsterdam in January 2011 for a 10-day winter intensive with Teatro Punto where she participated in daily 9am to 6pm physical training in Modern Commedia dell’Arte. She found Teatro’s Punto’s approach to mask work, with their relentless and invigorating emphasis on continuous physical engagement and musicality, to be an enlightening experience applicable to a variety of theatrical disciplines. Wanting to share this training with her company members and colleagues, Alaine and Lester Trips organized two successful workshops in Toronto with the support of the University College Drama Program: a 3-day introductory workshop in 2011 followed by a 5-day intensive with Teatro Punto in 2012.

pFebruary 17, 19-22nd 2012, 6-9pm & 10-6pm
$315 General public, $290 Current Graduate Center students and Alumni of the UC Drama discount, $115 Current UC Drama students (prices include workshop, conference and ticket to Solo dell’Arte by Carlos Garcia Estevez)
Located at the UC Drama Program at the University of Toronto 75 St. George Street

This workshop was in coordination with:
“Passing on the Commedia dell’Arte Tradition: Past and Present Training and Pedagogical Approaches” with Solo dellʼArte, a performance by Carlos Garcia Estevez hosted by Glendon College, York University on February 18th 9am – 9pm

What to Expect:
• movement analysis • physical transformation/metamorphoses • from tragedy to comedy • musicality and timing • mask and archetypical characters • improvisation and scene composition • study of interaction between actor and audience

Teatro Punto is a theatre company under the artistic leadership of Katrien van Beurden and Carlos García Estévez. The company is based in Amsterdam. Teatro Punto was founded in 1998 by Carlos García Estévez in Paris. He did this with the help and input of actors from different European countries, all trained by Jacques Lecoq. Carlos Garcia Estevez is the founder and artistic leader of Teatro Punto. He trained for three years with Jacques Lecoq at the École Internationale du Théâtre and at the Laboratoire dʼEtude de Mouvement (LEM). Motivated by Jacques Lecoq, he began his research into the tragic depth that exists in Commedia dellʼArte. He worked with Mario Gonzáles, from the Conservatoire Nationale de Art Dramatique of Paris and former actor from Théâtre du Soleil. In 1999 he studied study with Donato Sartori at the Centro Maschere e Strutture Gestuali, Padova. There he started to discover the Gestureʼs Architecture and the Anthropology of the Mask. Carlos is currently performing in Compliciteʼs A Dogʼs Heart directed by Simon McBurney at the English National Opera in London. He is also touring with his solo ´Solo dellʼArte´ in countries such as Spain, France, Holland, Romania, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, United Kingdom and the USA.

3 Day CLOWN TEASER WORKSHOP with John Turner 2011

hosted by Lester Trips (Theatre)

A short but intensive exploration into the world of clown with one of Canada’s masters.


Nov. 5-7th 2011, 9am-5pm.
75 St. George St. Lower Common Room.
$285 students & $300 general

What to Expect:
This workshop offers a tantalizing glimpse into the magical world of clown and is a wonderful opportunity to test the waters before embarking on the full Baby Clown course. Based on the Pochinko technique, games and exercises awaken and encourage a sense of pleasure, an awareness of oneʼs immediate environment, and an honest response to internal impulses and external events. Students are then introduced to the clown world, where they will wear noses and hats to help discover their clown. An individual playground is created where the clown explores its physicality, innocence and experience, extremities and normalcy. The course culminates with students creating and presenting a short individual clown piece.

John Turner is familiar to Canadian and international audiences as one-half of the award winning horror-clown duo Mump & Smoot, playing to sold out houses coast to coast. Mump & Smoot inhabit a parallel universe called Ummo, worship a god named Ummo and speak their own brand of gibberish, Ummonian. Together they turn every convention about clowns upside down in a series of darkly humorous shows that range from the zany to the macabre. Not for children!

John trained with the Canadian clown visionary, Richard Pochinko, as well as studying at LʼÉcole Philippe Gaulier. John frequently collaborates with Karen Hines, award-winning performer of Pochsy, and directed Pochsyʼs most recent adventure in tax-land, Citizen Pochsy (2005). He is the founder and artistic-director of the Manitoulin Conservatory of Creation and Performance, an intensive training program for clowns, actors, artists, performers and people alike. In addition to his work at the Clown Farm, John has taught at the Stratford Festival, University of Calgary, University of Tel Aviv, the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, and was an associate artist at the Yale School of Drama (Graduate program) for seven years.