WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tony Rios on training, ideals, and community

Hi. I have not posted to a blog before, so this is very exciting.

When Erika told us in rehearsal we would have a chance to post, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. It’s about an ideal theater training center I have; I like talking about ideal situations because you should always be working down from there if you can’t get your ideal situation, not the opposite. Before we go into that however, I’d like to share a definition of community: “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.” Well, theater communities everywhere have common cultural heritage to some extent, reside near each other, but don’t share much besides the stage and some drinks. That’s where the idea for this center came.

The center would be a place for the whole theater community to convene and train. It would be at a large space obviously, with “ideally” multiple studio rooms for actors, directors, and playwrights to book at no additional cost (there would be a small monthly fee for members just to pay rent and facilities). In the studios, artists could have workshops, staged readings, weekly classes, and if space is open, rehearsals.

Going with the idea that the center would be owned by the community all of the classes would be instructed by community members. I spoke, with my friend, of a Suzuki Method class in which there wasn’t one instructor, but the whole group were instructors for each other. We thought it would redefine the idea of ensemble building in Suzuki. A group would get together, stomp and run around a bit, and express positives and things that need work about each other’s training. The same could be true about Viewpoints; a group of actors can work in a grid until they decide they are done and talk afterwards. All together, it’s about having each others backs and trying to make the person next to you better as well as yourself.

Directors and actors can work together on scene showings, playwrights can have staged readings, actors can practice monologues, future instructors can take the reigns of a class for a day, designers can show their designs, the possibilities are endless if there was a space for the whole community.

The “ideal” once again, is just a place where theater artists can get together and train. I know for myself I can’t afford classes at a studio, or with a great instructor. The funds just aren’t there. This is a way for almost everyone to have access to training. This would be a way to create the tightest knit theater community in the country. But, like I’ve said ten million times by now to myself, it’s just an ideal. Where can we go from here?

This post was written by Tony Rios. See him as Morrie in our upcoming world-premiere Dearly Beloved by Brendan Doris-Pierce. Tickets and information at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/190125.

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