Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grand Guignol Intensive

viaCorpora is pleased to announce that our cohorts, the Grand Guignolers, want to share a very special Halloween preparation with you.

Two Weeks of Terror
A Grand Guignol Intensive Workshop

October 16-28, 2011

The Theatre of Laughter & Terror

Dubbed the "Theatre of Laughter and Terror," the Théâtre du Grand Guignol, ran from 1897-1962 in a small Parisian theatre. An evening of "hot and cold showers," alternated short plays of drama, farce, and horror with gory special effects, the latter for which it was most famous (an evening's success was judged by the number of fainting patrons).  The genre was the precursor of German Expressionism, film noir and the contemporary horror film.

The Workshop

This workshop is an earnest approach to Grand Guignol honoring the power of this form: real suspense and full engagement in dark psychological themes - jealousy, madness, and fear. And, of course, there will be blood...  All levels welcome.
  • ACTING STYLE in exercises and classic Grand Guignol scenes. This unique form combines the grand physical expression of melodrama with an intensely psychological naturalism.
  • HISTORICAL BACKGROUND in lecture, books, articles, handouts, photos, and video.
  • SPECIAL EFFECTS, the highly guarded secrets of live gore making.
  • AN EVENING OF HORROR, a class 'recital' of Grand Guignol scenes for your invited guests. Experience the power of this visceral form with a live audience.
COST:  Early Bird Price $375 by Sept. 28. Regular Price: $425. Deposit of $150 required to secure your spot. Cost includes material fees. But not a shower. Which you will need.

LOCATION: ArtWorks Theatre. 6569 Santa Monica Blvd. LA 90038; alternate locations TBA. 

DATES: Oct. 16-28. Weeknights 7-10/11; Sundays - 4-8; OFF: 10/19, 10/20, 10/27. SAT 10/20 TBA. Bring popcorn for the bonus movie night! Oct. 28 is the Final Presentation.


Workshop taught by Debbie McMahon, the 'puppet lady' of the petits guignolers and the creator/director of the Grand Guignoler shows. Debbie studied at Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatreand earned an MA in Performance Studies at NYU . She recently co-taught the Grand Guignol Summer Workshop at Dell'Arte with master teacher, Michael Fields. In addition to Grand Guignolers, she recently directed a commedia dell'arte play at USC MFA School and clowns with Cirque du Soleil.
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