Expanded Viewpoints – time, space, and improvisation 1
Name of lecturer(s)
Howard Scott LOTKER
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Using the Expanded Viewpoints framework, the course explores being and experiencing together in time and space as a basic situation of theater and many other kinds of performance. Students will grow and develop as improvisors and theater makers towards:
- studying, experiencing, and expanding their understanding of basic acting / performative principles,
- studying, experiencing, and expanding understanding of the basic dramaturgical / directorial building blocks and aspects of what creates meaning onstage and what makes a performance a performance,
- developing an understanding of, and experience in various devising theater and improvisation strategies,
- working with a focus on unifying expression of body, voice, and situation,
- creating conditions for open and creative communication within the group during improvising and while giving feedback,
- experiencing non-theatre spaces as potential locations for performance,
- exploring improvisation as a path to self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-actualization.
Mode of study
Early classes feature group forming and time/space research exercises, Expanded Viewpoints improvisations, and analysis of the improvisations in open discussions with the entire group. Later in the work, once the group has gone beyond the beginning phases, we begin to work with themed improvisations, improvisations in site-specific locations, and looking at strategies for using Expanded Viewpoints as a tool for devising theater.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
Previous theater performing, dance, movement or acting experience is ideal, if you do not have any please contact the teacher if the workshop is a good fit for you.
The Expanded Viewpoints are a way of looking at the component parts that make up TIME and SPACE of everyday life and of performance. We study, play and work with these elements in order to be able to be aware of time and space, to see them more clearly, to experience them more deeply, and to be able to use them more fully in performance, improvisation, and life. Expanded Viewpoints are especially useful for actor / performer training, creating material for devised theater, and for creating improvised performances.
Background: The Viewpoints were originally developed in the 1970’s by American Choreographer Mary Overlie, who used her Six Viewpoints for training dancers and creating choreographies. Her original Viewpoints are: Space, Shape, Time, Emotion, Movement, and Story (SSTEMS). Mary Overlie said, “The Six Viewpoints deconstruct theater by shifting concentration from the whole to the particular, (it’s) like splitting the atom.”.
Anne Bogart and Tina Landau, along with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company (NY, USA), developed Overlie’s viewpoints for their actor training and their director-led devised theater work. Their Viewpoints are broken down into the categories of viewpoints of time and space. The Viewpoints of Time are: Tempo, Duration, Kinesthetic Response, and Repetition. And Space: Shape, Gesture, Architecture, Spatial Relationship and Topography.
After years of practicing and teaching Viewpoints I became interested in developing Viewpoints into a purely improvisational, site-specifically grounded form. In my research, performance, and teaching I (re)discovered some additional Viewpoints that I think are useful, that we work with in the Expanded Viewpoints framework: in Time: Musicality; Timing / Kairos; and in Space: Gaze / Eye Focus; Stillness / Silence; Effort; and Performance / Audience Relationship.
So the complete list of Expanded Viewpoints we will be working with is: Time: Tempo, Duration, Kinesthetic Response, Musicality, Timing / Kairos, and Repetition. And in Space: Shape, Gesture, Gaze / Eye Focus, Architecture, Effort, Spatial Relationship, Topography, Stillness / Silence, and Performance / Audience Relationship.
Recommended or required reading
Recommended or required reading:
Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural Approach after Stanislavsky by Phillip B. Zarrilli (November 28, 2008)
The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition – by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau (August 1, 2004)
Other Recommended Reading:
A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer by Eugenio Barba and Nicola Savarese (Dec 16, 2005)
Games for Actors and Non-Actors 2nd Edition by Augusto Boal (Oct 27, 2002)
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) (July 28, 2008)
The Interventionists: Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life by Nato Thompson, Gregory Sholette, Joseph Thompson and Gregor Sholette (Sep 1, 2006)
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone (Jan 7, 1987)
The Tao of Natural Breathing: For Health, Well-Being, and Inner Growth by Dennis Lewis (Mar 2, 2006)
Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal and Charles A. McBride (Jan 1, 1993)
The Performance Studies Reader by Henry Bial (Editor), Sara Brady (Editor) (August 8, 2015)
Qi: Increase Your Life Energy by Stefan Stenudd (Oct 19, 2009)
Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and R. F. C. Hull (Jan 26, 1999)
Assessment methods and criteria
Credit / grade is awarded based on attendance, effort, growth, fostering a positive atmosphere in the group, completing reading and journal writing assignments.
This course may be either in Czech, English or taught bilingually.
This course is an elective for all AMU students
Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:
(Karlova 26, Praha 1)
(Karlova 26, Praha 1)
Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:
The schedule has not yet been prepared