Thursday, December 9, 2010

Song of the Goat Workshop

viaCorpora is pleased to host a 2-day workshop with a founding member of Song of the Goat Theatre (Teatr Pieśń Kozła), one of the leading physical theatre companies in the world.

C o o r d i n a t i o n - i n- A c t i n g

“Sensual and spiritual, expressive and ecstatic, gentle and furious.”
Teatr on Song of the Goat’s Macbeth (2008)

“As near to perfect theatre as I have seen in a very long time, it is food for the soul.”
The Sunday Herald on Chronicles (2004)

The workshop explores the concept of actor’s coordination, which unifies rhythm, voice and movement. Ideal for those using their body as the key element in the theatrical devising process, the training incorporates the body into voice, song and text work. It also contributes to the classical actor’s technique, theatre or film, by awakening the sense of internal and external rhythm, working with physical impulse, spatial awareness and focus. For performance professionals, the workshop offers a unique opportunity to examine how the body, voice and imagination can be used to find the new sources of creativity.

This workshop is a culmination of Rafal Habel’s 13 years of research with Teatr Pieśń Kozła (Song of the Goat Theatre), one of the most exciting and innovative Avant-garde theatre companies in Poland and beyond.

Suitable for actors, dancers, performers, directors, university & drama school students.

WHEN: Saturday-Sunday, January 15-16, 2011 12-4:30 pm
WHERE: viaCorpora Studio, 6575 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
FEE: General: $120, Students:$90, EARLY Bird :$85 (before December 31).
HOW: Please email to receive an application and further instructions.

DETAILS: Participants should be prepared to work physically and vocally throughout the day. Please wear comfortable practice clothes and be prepared to work in bare feet.

R a f a ł H a b e l, Actor/Musician, has been a member of the internationally renowned Polish theatre company, Teatr Pieśń Kozła (Song of the Goat Theatre) since its inception in 1997. His performances with Pieśń Kozła include ‒ Dithyramb, Chronicles: A Lamentation, Lacrimosa and Macbeth, touring throughout Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Rafał is one of the teachers in the MA Acting course through Manchester Metropolitan University run by Teatr Pieśń Kozła in Poland. He is a former member of chamber folk music group Lautari, Wrocław, Poland, and a collaborator with Bread In The Bone Theatre Company in London and Poland.

Working with Teatr Pieśń Kozła for 13 years, Rafał Habel has led and co-led workshops around the world. United Kingdom: Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester; Rose Bruford Colledge, London; MAC, Birmingham; Nightingale Theatre, Brighton; The Point, Eastleigh; The Junction, Cambridge; Playhouse Education Outreach Programme, Oxford; The Centre of Performance Research in Wales; Welsh College of Music and Drama, Wales. Australia: Australian Theatre for Young People, Sydney; La Troube University, Melbourne; Black Swan Theatre, Perth. USA: La MaMa Theatre, New York City; UCLA Live, Los Angeles; Claremont College, Claremont CA. Cuba: Danza Teatro Retazos; Havana, Cuba. Asia: The National Theatre of Taiwan. Poland: Since 1997 Workshops led and co-led in Wroclaw, Pozna, Jelenia Gora, Tornow, Warszawa, Gdansk.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Those puckish Grand Guignolers are conspiring to play and revel one more time before 2010 runs out! Come celebrate with the viaCorpora Fellowship! 


Grand Guignolers FINAL 
 Physical Theatre Workout 2010



Dear Friends:

Our final physical theatre workout of the year devilishly delves into the spirit of the ancient Roman holiday, Saturnalia.  This pagan holiday/festival was the historical pre-curser of the Feast of Fools and the Christmas season featuring gift giving, revelry, misrule, and the reversal of social roles.  Death and rebirth.  Fool and trickster.  Joyous celebration.  Post-workout libations.

To stay for the post-workout festivities, please bring your favorite libation and edible treats to share (please let me know what you are bringing to even out the goods... though I suppose 10 bottles of red wine isn't a BAD thing.)

Spaces for this evening are already filling up.  BUY TICKET HERE.  $18.

ABOUT MELODRAMA PHYSICAL THEATRE WORKOUTS: Join us for a physically theatrical workout to get you out of your head and into your body. Melodrama is the most expressive of Western theatre forms, the one closest to the theatrical impulse, based in physical gesture, high stakes, big characters, big emotion states, spectacle, the struggle of virtue and evil, and all to music.  The workshop is somewhere between Artaud's "athlete of the emotions" and cops & robbers.  It's cathartic, powerful and FUN!  All levels welcome.
$18/workout. WED., DECEMBER 15th  7:30-10 at ArtWorks Theatre.  6569 Santa Monica Blvd., LA 90038.  No parking in lot. 

Taught by Debbie McMahon, Director/Creator Grand Guignolers.  

Come play!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Grand Guignolers Melodrama Workout/Workshop


Join us for a physically theatrical workout to get you out of your head and into your body. All levels welcome.

Melodrama is the most expressive of Western theatre forms, the one closest to the theatrical impulse, based in physical gesture, high stakes, big characters, big emotion states, spectacle, the struggle of virtue and evil, and all to music. The workshop is somewhere between Artaud's "athlete of the emotions" and cops & robbers. It's cathartic, powerful and FUN!

Sign up in advance for LIMITED SPOTS. We often have a waiting list. $18/workout. WED., NOVEMBER 3rd and/or 17th 7:30-10 at ArtWorks Theatre. 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., LA 90038. No parking in lot. Feel free to bring drinks for post-workout play.

more dates will be added - please check back here or the website below for details.

Come play!

Amanda Street & Amy Vorpahl in A Crime in the Madhouse
Amy Vorpahl & Amanda Street in A Crime in the Madhouse

Friday, September 17, 2010

Commedia Classes with John Achorn

viaCorpora is delighted to announce that master teacher John Achorn is returning to the House. With his wisdom and immense experience, John offers a detailed and extensive introduction to commedia dell'Arte with a light and accessible touch!

presented in association with Lo studio degli zanni

A New Workshop in
commedia dell’Arte

A six week introduction to the essential elements of the commedia style: 
mask, mime, improvisation, character, physical routines, ensemble.

Saturdays 10:00am~1:00pm @ [via]Corpora Studio
Beginning Saturday, October 16 ~ thru November 20

Fee: $180 ~ Early Registration Discount (before October 15): $150

Contact: 310-396-3314 or
viaCorpora is located at 6575 Santa Monica Boulevard Hollywood, CA 90038

John Achorn is a master teacher in commedia dell’Arte, having studied with Carlo Mazzone-Clementi; he was an original member of the Dell-Arte Company and was instrumental in the founding of the renowned Dell’Arte School in Blue Lake CA. Mr. Achorn has taught workshops and classes for over 35 years at such institutions as UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, University of Redlands, UC San Diego, USC, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, ARTEL and the Antaeus Company here in Los Angeles. He is an actor, director and writer.

Sunday, August 1, 2010




play big * play ferocious * play to survive

August 11 2010


Amy Vorpahl & Amanda Street in A Crime in the Madhouse

7:30 PM (about 2.5 hours)

$18 for one night.

ArtWorks Theatre 6569 Santa Monica Blvd. LA 90038

spaces limited so reserve your spot.

For more information

hosted by viaCorpora

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MIR Caravan

Those of you that attended the viaCorpora conversation with Slava Polunin in Jan 2007 might remember the amazing and inspiring story he shared with us of the MIR Caravan tour in 1989, a true testament to the creative citizen and the powers of thinking in a world of possibility, rather than in one constrained by measurement.

To celebrate the 20+ year anniversary, MIR Caravan returns.

Please visit the site, spread the word, attend the performances and spectacles, and most of all, celebrate.

Friday, April 30, 2010


LA Stage Blog

LA Weekly

11 performances only
May 7 - 29

Created/Directed by DEBBIE MCMAHON
The Cabinet of Hands by Chris Bell


Grand Guignolers and viaCorpora are delighted to announce that the outstanding run at Hollywood's ArtWorks Theatre is being transferred to the Ivy Substation to allow West Side and Culver City patrons easier access to the boat! Set sail again or experience 1920s Shanghai for the first time!

Don your best cocktail and/or vintage attire and join the Grand Guignolers on a 1920s luxury cruise to Shanghai. Meet Sing Song girls (Chinese geishas) and The Green Gang in Sing Song Girl Sing Last Song, a dancing/brawling movement based melodrama. Witness spectacle and magic in the absinthe fueled hallucinations of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Visit a sinister opium den in The Cabinet of Hands by Chris Bell, a Grand Guignol play about a Madame with a penchant for collecting hands. And see hypnosis and ventriloquism turn deadly performed by the ever popular, Petits Guignolers, a French finger puppet troupe.

Come early for on-board travel photos, treats, absinthe and entertainment

WHERE: THE IVY SUBSTATION * 9070 Venice Blvd. * Culver City, CA 90232. Hosted by the Actor's Gang.
WHEN: May 7 - 29. Thurs - Sat ~ 8pm Absinthe & Entertainment ~ 8:30pm showtime. No late seating.
SUGGESTED ATTIRE: Vintage/Cocktail.
TICKETS: $25-30. or for tickets.

Pre-purchased highly recommended.
Due to violence, this show is inappropriate for children.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Premiere! Artel's Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms

Fresh off the heels of the critically acclaimed Grand Guignolers’ Absinthe, Opium & Magic: 1920s Shanghai, viaCorpora, International Performance Research and Development House is proud to present its resident laboratory’s world premiere production, Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms. After a riotous oversold presentation of the workshop production last spring, ARTEL – a mad-gang of artisanal scientists comprising the underground American Russian Theatre Ensemble Laboratory – brings Daniil Kharms back with a vengeance! And he is more charming, macabre, and scintillating than ever! Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms is an original decadent comedy illogically formulated from Russian Surrealist and Absurdist motifs, constructed as an evening of not-so-innocent commotions and antics, vignettes and dreamlike incidents, all set to a rousing live musical score.

Where: Art|Works Theatre 6567 Santa Monica Blvd. 90038
When: Feb 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, March 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8:30pm; March 7 and 14 at 3pm
Dress Code:
Dress to impress while enjoying yourself at a night of irrepressible theatre, circa 1930s is encouraged.
Wear a moustache (or be prepared to have one given to you) and you'll receive a free soup to accompany the evening's performance.

When you come to see us, forget everything that you have been used to seeing in all other theatres. Perhaps much of it will seem absurd.

-OBERIU, 1928

Declaring 2010 as the Year of the Absurd, ARTEL is making explosive (re)solutions to the New Year, beginning with detonating notions of theatre as a dramatic servant of literature. While English speaking academics are just now wrestling with Hans-Thies Lehmann’s ten year old articulation of a ‘post-dramatic theatre’, ARTEL ransacks a storehouse constructed eighty years ago by Daniil Kharms when he divined a creative practice of sluchai*, to propose its own poetics of perplexing alogical perspectives formulated for a new decade of twenty-first century theatre.

Daniil Kharms, an early Soviet-era surrealist and absurdist poet, writer and dramatist, was a post-modern artist before the term had any cultural currency. Kharms exploded the conception of theatre as a literary representative, defining the rules of theatre not as dramatic but scenic. By the late 1920s, his anti-rational verse, nonlinear theatrical performances, and public displays of iniquitous and irrational behavior earned Kharms - who always dressed like an English dandy with a calabash pipe - the reputation of being a talented but highly eccentric "fool" or "crazy-man" in Leningrad cultural circles. Exiled briefly during the “relatively vegetarian” days of the early 1930s, ten years later he was imprisoned in the psychiatric ward of Leningrad Prison No. 1. Kharms died in his cell – most likely from starvation – in February, 1942 as the Nazi blockade of Leningrad was well underway. His writings (a vast assortment of stories, miniatures, plays, poems, and pseudo-scientific/philosophical investigations) were virtually unknown until the 1970s, and not published officially in Russia until the late-1980s period of "glasnost".

ARTEL has found a kinship in the writings, theories and spirit of OBERIU (Union of Real Art), the avant-garde collective founded by Kharms, that adds a legacy and language to the ways in which the ensemble laboratory has been training performers and devising theatre since its inception. Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms is therefore presented as homage to OBERIU whose aesthetic centered on a belief in the autonomy of art from the real world's rules and logic as well as the intrinsic meaning to be found in objects and words outside of their practical function.

By ‘Real Art’, OBERIU intended the creation of an artistic language that refused symbolism and subtext as a means to present realism. The Oberiuty rejected literary drama, in which all the elements are subordinate to the dramatic plot, that is the play as ‘a tale told by people about something that happened’, and in which everything is done on the stage in order ‘to explain the meaning and the course of the events more clearly, more comprehensibly, and in a more life-like way’. ‘Theatre’, said the Oberiuty, ‘has nothing to do with that.’

OBERIU embraced a creativity that demanded “the transformation of the forms of private life into a fact of art”. The promotion of an aesthetic and ethos that blurs life and art has been a main line of research for ARTEL, and coupled with the notion of ‘scenic plot’ was a central dramaturgy for the Bulgakov variations over the last three years.

Derided as literary hooligans in the increasingly hostile atmosphere of 1930s Stalinism, OBERIU survived as a collective for only a few short years, but are considered “the last of the Soviet avant-garde”.

As the cultural weather continues to fluctuate in our own tumultuous times, Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms disrupts the experience of daily entertainment routines, challenges the central questions around the role of art, the responsibility of artists, and the creative capacity of all living citizens, and ultimately aims to provoke an incident of love.

You want to find the laws of normality and logic which you think you see in life. But you will not find them here. Why? Because an object and a phenomenon transferred from life onto the stage are no more dependent on the laws of ‘life’ and acquire laws of another kind, those of the theatre. We are not going to explain what they are. To understand the laws of a theatrical presentation you have to see it.

- OBERIU, 1928

*Sluchai is a Russian word uneasily translatable but academically agreed to be closest to the English word “incident”. The Kharmsian incident is best described by two definitions: the first from a general understanding is “an occurrence or event that interrupts normal procedure or precipitates a crisis”, while the second comes from a physical understanding as a “falling upon or striking a surface”. Incidents, like life, are brought to us as well as provoked by us. It is this nebulous area within which action lies, and therefore, ARTEL views the theatre as space to overturn and question assumed notions of the division between life and art.
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