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Book Talk: Inside The Performance Workshop: A Sourcebook for Rasaboxes and Other Exercises

Richard Schechner and the co-authors of Inside The Performance Workshop: A Sourcebook for Rasaboxes and Other Exercises (Routledge 2023), Rachel Bowditch, Paula Murray Cole, and Michele Minnick (and other contributors TBA) will discuss the first full-length volume dedicated to the history, theory, practice, and application of a suite of performer training exercises devised by Richard Schechner and further developed by the editors and contributors of this book. This work began in the 1960s with The Performance Group and has continued to evolve. The book combines both practical “how-to” guidance and applications from diverse contexts including undergraduate and graduate actor training, television acting, K-12 education, devising, and drama therapy serving as an introduction to the work as well as an essential resource for experienced practitioners. The panel and dialogue will be moderated by Frank Hentschker.

A short reception will follow, with copies of Inside the Performance Workshop available for purchase.

Biographies:

Richard Schechner is Editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies and University Professor Emeritus at NYU. He is the author of many books including Environmental Theater, Performance Theory, Between Theater and Anthropology, Performed Imaginaries, Performance Studies: An Introduction, and Schechner Plays (in press). His books and essays have been translated into more than 20 languages. Schechner has directed performances, led workshops, taught, and lectured on every continent except Antarctica. Among his many theatre productions are Dionysus in 69 (based on Euripides’ The Bacchae), Sam Shepard’s The Tooth of Crime, Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Jean Genet’s The Balcony, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the immersive-devised Imagining O. He has been awarded numerous fellowships, awards, and honors, including a Guggenheim and three honorary doctorates.

Rachel Bowditch, PhD (NYU Performance Studies), is a theatre director and Professor of Theatre in the School of Music, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She attended Ecole de Jacques Lecoq in Paris in 1998 and is a core teacher of TPW and Rasaboxes. Bowditch acted in Schechner’s productions of YokastaS (2005 and 2007) with East Coast Artists. She has taught and developed Rasaboxes and The Performance Workshop (TPW) since 2003. Her books include On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man (2010), Performing Utopia co-edited with Pegge Vissicaro (Seagull Books, 2018), and Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field co-edited with Jeff Casazza and Annette Thornton (Routledge, 2018). She has presented her performance research nationally and internationally in London, Barcelona, Singapore, Mexico City, Bogota, Columbia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Santiago, Chile, Berlin, and most recently, Haikou, China. For more about her artistic and scholarly work: https://rachelbowditch.com/ and https://vesselproject.org/.

Paula Murray Cole is Associate Professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Ithaca College, a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and a licensed massage therapist. Cole acted in Schechner’s Three Sisters and Hamlet with East Coast Artists. Her professional work centers on the development and dissemination of Rasaboxes and The Performance Workshop (TPW). She has taught and/or presented this work at colleges, universities, conferences, and independent arts organizations nationally and internationally since 1999. In 2009, Cole produced the only documentary video recording of Schechner teaching the whole of TPW, Crossing the Line: Inside Richard Schechner’s Performance Workshop.

Michele Minnick, PhD, CMA, SMT/E is a performance maker and producer, somatic movement educator, independent scholar, and teaching artist. She has taught, presented, and developed TPW and Rasaboxes internationally since 1998 in professional and educational settings in the US and Brazil. Minnick was a member of East Coast Artists from 1994 to 2005, translating and performing in Schechner’s production of Three Sisters (1995–1997) and performing in Hamlet (1999). In Baltimore she has been a member of Iron Crow Theatre Company and a core creator with Submersive Productions. In 2021, she launched Vital Matters, an interdisciplinary, arts-based laboratory for change that integrates somatics with experimental performance approaches to address environmental and social injustice and climate change in partnership with artists, scholars, activists and organizations in Baltimore. Minnick has adapted Rasaboxes for her work as a teaching artist with Arts for Learning Maryland since 2018.



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