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Action Theater™

What is Action Theater™?
Action Theatre is a form of improvised movement-based theatre developed by Ruth Zaporah, which integrates movement, vocal sound and speech. In this form we practise being more aware of our experience: the details of how we move, the quality of our voice, images that appear in our mind’s eye and feelings that emerge. Our improvisations don’t need to make sense in a linear way. Watching an improvisation can be like experiencing a dream or seeing poetry come to life.

What happens in a class?
After a gentle movement and vocal warm-up we practice simple improvisational exercises (or ‘scores’) which quiet our thinking mind and bring us into our bodies, awakening our senses, our feelings and our imagination. Working solo, duet and in ensemble some scores will focus on expanding our physical and vocal range while others will centre on the skills of listening, responding and collaborating with our partners. In Action Theatre all action is informed by our experience of our body, so when speaking we focus on the sensory experience of words: the movement of the mouth, the pitch, rhythm and volume of the sounds. In this way how we talk and who we’re being when we talk is as important as what we say. There are opportunities to practise in front of each other and to talk about what interests us about the improvisations.

What if I get stuck?
Of course, improvising has its pitfalls, the main one being our busy mind. Often our judgements get in the way and we inhibit ourselves from full expression with opinions like “I’m stuck” or “I’m too much” or “I should be doing more”. This can be uncomfortable but through practice we can say yes to these thoughts and experiences and express them through movement, sound and/or words. It is often these vulnerable moments that can be most moving and if we can fully inhabit them we feel alive, free and fully embodied.

Who are the classes for?
anyone who wants to:

  • discover new ways of expressing themselves, follow their impulses and make new choices
  • be playful and spontaneous
  • be physically aware, get out of their heads and into their bodies
  • build confidence speaking in front of others
  • build connections with others through improving their listening and relationship skills
  • take initiative and bring direction to their lives
  • be more curious and have a sense of wonder in everyday life

performers such as:

  • dancers who want to use their voice in performance
  • actors who want to expand their physical vocabulary and source characters from the body
  • performance makers who want to source material through improvisation
  • all performers who want to integrate voice and movement and develop their performance presence

Opened my eyes to lots of new ways of looking at life and all its components. This is something I can take with me wherever I go

Asa, Interior Designer