Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pssst...the Year of the Absurd is Coming

....keep looking down

Laughter is a collapse of control in response to something which can't be fitted in the file cabinet of the mind. It is a form of ecstasy, a collapse of reason into basic clarity.

-- Joseph Chaikin

TEATR ZAR Workshops

In partnership with the Grotowski Institute, Arden 2 and UCLA Live!, Teatr Zar return to Los Angeles with the premiere of Triptych, the first part of which was shown at UCLA 2 years ago (Gospels of Childhood). viaCorpora is honored to be organizing 4 days of workshops with this special ensemble of unique performers.While Teatr Zar's work incorporates a coordinated physical and polyphonic vocal and rhythmic approach to performer training, the workshops will be separated in order to allow more concentrated time on one particular path. While we encourage participants to experience both workshops, we believe this separation will allow those participants who only wish to challenge their comfort in their "specialized" medium sufficient access.

Workshop 1

Wakening the Listening Body
practical meeting led by Matej Matejka

The meetings aim to explore a specific line of personal and individual expression of the performer. It addresses practical questions present in our work in theatre, a search for the process of the performer that retains the essential expression and avoids unnecessary aesthetics.

The work evolves from the centralizing of energy in the body, awakening the center of the body and grounding the energy of the performer. Special attention is place on isolation techniques as well as improving subtle expression, or inner-articulations, of the body.

During the work we address the following aspects:

*Sensitivity in the work with the partner. Exploring different qualities of physical contact. Induction between partners.

*Using stimulus - needs, inner impulses or reflections from everyday like - as a source for improvisation and the creation of physical scores. awakening an Intuitive body.

*Searching for forms of expression through the nature of one's own personality.

The session is targeted towards practitioners with an interest and experience in dance or theatre.
This challenge requires serious focus and precision from all engaged in the work.
It is open to those who are willing to search in less common fields of physical and vocal expression.

Workshop 2

Into The Sound
Led by Jaroslaw Fret and Teatr Zar

The work session will be focused on the natural harmonics of the voice expressed through rhythmical breathing patterns and connected to actions based on physical contact between the singers. Participants of the session will be introduced to the following elements: Svanetian harmonies (from the high Caucasus); Georgian Liturgical songs (Gelati tradition); cries/calls. The work will explore rhythm / breath-rhythm (based on Balkan rhythmical patterns), co-ordination and exploration of natural rhythmical tendencies through improvisation, exploring the breath through physical impulses and acrobatic elements. A separate part of the work session will be a practical reconnaissance into the forms of Kyrie Eleison, as complex scores of breath, belonging to different traditions.


Date: Monday-Thursday, 16-19 November 2009
Time: 11-2 (Wakening the listening body), 3-7 (Into the sound)
Price: One workshop: $270.00-Before 15 Oct, After-$300 Both Workshops: $500

To pay:
Notes: 1) There is an application for this workshop as space is extremely limited, please contact
2) Times may be subject to change. If you are interested in these workshops, but cannot make the times, please fill out an application form and tell us the times you are available.
3) These workshops will most likely be held at a space downtown rather than our Hollywood building. Please factor that in.


Jaroslaw Fret:
Director of the Grotowski Institute, and a founder and leader of Teatr ZAR. Beginning in 1999, together with Kamila Klamut, he organised several expeditions to Georgia, Armenia, Greece and Iran, conducting research into the oldest forms of religious music of Eastern Christianity. This research became the point of departure for the performance Gospels of Childhood, which has since been presented in Poland, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has conducted work sessions in various countries including Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Brazil. He produced the world’s first documentary film devoted to the Mandeans – the only ancient Gnostic group remaining in the south of Iran. He graduated in Polish philology from the University of Wroclaw in 1994. In 1994–1995 he collaborated with the Centre for Theatre Practices 'Gardzienice'. Fret was co-editor of a special annual bound volume of Pamietnik Teatralny, dedicated to Jerzy Grotowski (Warsaw, 2000-2001). He worked in the Centre for the Study of Jerzy Grotowski’s Work and for Cultural and Theatrical Research from 1995, assuming the director’s function in February 2004. He has been director of the Grotowski Institute since 29th December 2006.

Teatr Zar:
The ensemble of the Teatr ZAR was initially formed through almost three years of expeditions and rehearsals concerning the project Gospels of Childhood. Members were gathered for the project from training sessions at the Grotowski Centre and their work was directed towards the long-term development of actors’ skills, as well as towards discovering new forms of expression, based mainly on acting through song. Therefore, the character of the project proved to be musicological, but was not so much dedicated to conventional ethno-musicological research as to an attempt to recompose and reshape the musical material acquired during the expeditions.

Matej Matejka:
Matej is originally from Slovakia. He has been a collaborator of The Grotowski Institute since 2005 where he is engaged in research of physical expression in the theatre. He is an actor with Teatr ZAR and one of the leaders of physical training for the company. He performs in Gospels of Childhood, Cesarean Section and is currently working on Anhelli, Calling. He has performed with the Theatre Studio Prague, and Farm in the Cave on Dark Love Sonnets, Journey to the Station and SCLAVI / The Song of an Emigrant. He is has also recently been collaborating with choreographer and dancer Jaro Vinarsky.

Breathing Performer Workshops

viaCorpora is honored to be co-producing with Ilana K Turner the first Breathing Performer workshops in Los Angeles. Christopher Sivertsen was last in Los Angeles performing with the Song of the Goat theater at UCLA and assisted Grzegorz Bral in their one-day workshop in 2005. He now returns to Los Angeles with his unique approach to performer training.

The Breathing Performer workshop is an opportunity to learn from Christopher Sivertsen's rich experience in laboratory theatre practice and his own personal research into the performer's craft. He draws upon a broad range of inspirations including; folklore, hip-hop, acrobatics, rhythms, traditional, devotional and secular music and stories.

Using specific exercises that are designed to open your body and develop your trust in your own physical and imaginative creativity, the participants will be guided into their own unknown territory.

You will choose any classical monologue you know very well and using its text, a score will be created consisting of music, physicality and movement. Assisted by the other participants as the ensemble or the chorus of characters in the play, you become the narrator, the puppeteer, the conductor, the master of ceremony and the protagonist.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, 24 -25 October 2009
Time: 12 -5pm
Price: $200 Before 5 Oct, After $240
Note: There is an application form for this workshop. Contact

Watch the AWAKE Project video to a glimpse into Christopher's work

As a performer, Christopher was a member of both Theatre Slava in Sweden and Teatr Piesn Kozla (Song of the Goat) in Poland. Since 2006, Christopher has been collaborating and working with a many companies and institutions, such as RADA in London, the Diaspora project and RSAMD in Glasgow and Georgetown University in Washington. Christopher is the artistic director of the Awake project, a group of international theatre artists brought together to create a performance, and to lead large scale youth exchange projects in Europe. The Awake project is also the Swedish representative for the UNESCO year of Grotowski.

For more info and a fantastic PDF with photos:

The Return of JOHNSON

HURRY - $120 fee is good till September 26th! Purchase online at

Fields of Play: seed and harvest
Lecture w/Q&A, 4 day workshop, Evening of Sowings

Building upon two previous workshops at viaCorpora, Jef Johnson and Olya Petrakova have devised an extended workshop and opening into the larger community by orchestrating a 4 day workshop in creative techniques that begins with Johnson giving a FREE lecture with Q&A and ends with a Sowing of the work done by the participants at ArtWorks Theatre!

“The natural flow of all things is driven by restraint and passage.”

How do you create new material?

Do you sit down and try to think it up?

Do you get bogged down worrying about music, props, character?

Do you think “if I have the magic idea the rest will be easy?”

Do you tell yourself “all I need is the seed?”

You are the seed! The most immediate and truthful inspiration comes from the natural flow of all things, as you experience it. Come discover practical tools for navigating the landscape of your fields of play.

This is a practical workshop series which will focus on strategies for identifying and developing ideas for performance. Three evenings of workshop will culminate in a public sharing, "Seeds"!

This special workshop series will kick off with a FREE LECTURE, followed by a Q&A. Jef will share experiences, discuss performance theory, clown and the power of theatre.

FREE Lecture: Tuesday, 6 October, 7:30PM

Wednesday- Friday, 7-9 October , 7-10pm
(for those participating in the Sowing, we will also meet Saturday 10 Oct 1-4pm)
Price: $120 before Sept 26; After - $180!
Tickets: http://www.brownpaperticke

Evening of Sowing:
Saturday, 10 October, 8PM
For guests: $5.00 suggested contribution.

J e f J o h n s o n is a principal in the Broadway and international touring company of Slava’s Snowshow. He has worked with Cirque du Soleil as clown, special artistic consultant and workshop director. He conducts his practical research out of Jef Johnson’s CLOWN LAB in New York City.

Alternative Workshop Payment:
write a check, payable to ARTEL and mail it to:
6567 Santa Monica Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Prankster Art Playshop

PRANKSTER ART PLAYSHOP: Blurring the Lines between Life and Play
with Olya Petrakova

Feeling creatively sluggish lately? Inject your life with mischief.

Using Olya's Instant Creation Techniques, principles of Happenings and Improv, materials of Absurdist Literature, Zaum Poetry, artistic output of Dada, Fluxus and Punk Rock, threaded together with Monty Python's brand of antics, we will collide creative performance ideas with Impossible Timelines and Unlikely Spaces to create that irrepressible sense of mischievous anticipation, provocation and play.

Prepare to have your abs hurting from laughter, your everyday perception re-focused and sense of socially-acceptable behaviour absurdly enlarged.

Suitable for actors, writers, dancers, performers, housewives, lawyers, and personal assistants.

Price: $28.88
Date: Saturday, 3 October 2009
Time: 13:00 - 16:00

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Auditon for Artel's Kharmful Charms of Dani Kharms

After a sold-out workshop production last April, ARTEL returns with Kharmful Charms of Dani Kharms - A World Premiere collaborative ensemble-devised project based on the works of Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms (1905-1942).

DATE/TIME/LOCATION: Oct 2, 6:30-8pm or Oct 3, 11-12:30. Artworks Theatre & Studios. Studio C, 6575 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 90038. Tel. 310-985-9996.RUN: Presented at Artworks Theatre. Opens February 12, Fri-Sat 8pm (occasional Wed, Th or Sun shows) 4 weeks. Please be open to extend. (another 4 -6 weeks)

We are looking for character actors-creators, dancers, singers, puppeteers, musicians with a proclivity for comedy and absurd. Physicality, expressivity, courage to create are a must. Everyone will be required to devise solo and group work. Training in physical approaches to theatre, commedia dell'arte, clown, cabaret is a plus.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Auditions for Upcoming Grand Guignolers Show

Director/Producer Debbie McMahon of Grand Guignolers, a physical theatre based company within the [via]Corpora House, is casting an ensemble of men/women to play multiple parts for

Absinthe Opium & Magic: 1920s Shanghai

Running November 21- January 3 (plan to extend) at ArtWorks Theatre. Color blind, sometimes gender blind casting. 99 Seat Equity Waiver. Submit headshot/resume to for consideration. Auditions 9/2-3 and 9/5-6. See for additional info re audition and show. Audition includes dance, movement, group improv, some reading.

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