Come and celebrate at The Actors Space, near Barcelona!
Last summer was my first time at the Actors Space doing ‘The Art of Comedy’ and it was for many reasons the most magical and constructive experience. In this generous, safe place that Marian & Simon have made, I learned to strip away my judgment and quieten my overthinking in order to really listen and react in the moment. To trust my instinct and to make brilliant ‘mistakes’.
I sometimes find the idea of remembering the joy a little silly, I create because I love to. But actually so often day to day and specifically in auditions since the workshop I find myself actively making the decision to relax, to have fun and to revel in playing. It’s a treat.
The course has given me the confidence to begin to create my own work and further explore my clown. It’s exciting. It has made my approach to working with others far less fearful. The wonderful structure of the course, the intelligent and spot on teaching and the beautiful setting made for a hugely positive time. I really couldn’t recommend it more. Thank you to the Actors Space. Words will not do you justice but you have stayed with me and I will be back.
Anna Brooks-Beckman, UK
THE CREATIVE ACTOR: “For me, it was one of the most worthwhile weeks of my life and I certainly plan to return next year”. Sheyla Sly.
SCREEN ACTING: Thoroughly enjoyed the Screen Acting workshop! I learnt so much and I felt I developed a part of me I did not know existed. It has helped me prepare for an audition which I was successful in getting. Fantastic direction from Simon and Marian and an absolutely beautiful place to be learning in”. Tara Hodgson
ART OF COMEDY “The wonderful structure of the course, the intelligent and spot on teaching and the beautiful setting made for a hugely positive time. I really couldn’t recommend it more. Thank you to the Actors Space!”. Anna Brooks-Beckman
DIRECTING PERFORMANCE “My senses were filled, my creativity re-ignited and energised. I discovered skills i didn’t know i had. Marian and Simon create a safe non judgmental, yet growth environment that allows each student to feel they are contributing something. I absolutely loved it”. Janine Hardy.
Two great female Comics!
Emily Sly (the one on the right).
“…the training offered by Marian and Simon was excellent. I really took to the feedback style and the direct approach as I found it really clear and easy to understand:- when something was working we knew why it worked and if it wasn’t funny or it wasn’t truthful we knew why it didn’t work. The course was perfectly structured over the week with well thought out exercises and challenges that took you on a journey into comedy and clowning. I would definitely recommend the Actors Space to anyone who is seeking to develop their skills, it was great fun and good value for money, I hope to return soon”.
Jane Allanach (the one on the left).
“I will definitely return to The Actors Space and the expertise and sincere hospitality of Marian and Simon. I feel enormously privileged and fortunate to have found this unique and wonderful artistic haven”.
Jane Allanach (the one on the left in the video).
“Four months on from The Art of Comedy Course at The Actors Space, I still feel full and blessed!
I spent eight wonderful days, although not without sweat and tears, in Marian and Simon’s beautiful farm house/studio – nestled in the pretty, peaceful Catalan hillside. If I’m painting a picture of perfection, that’s because (if such a thing exists) it’s what it felt like. From the outset, being met at the station by our hosts, and meeting up with the rest of the actors, I experienced the warmth and trust that so often comes with a group of people brought together for a common cause – to be creative and have fun!
The course itself was demanding, but was delivered to us in a way in which each exercise built on the previous one, and meant that everyone’s journey, to find their clown, was one of personal discovery. It was very emotional at times because ‘finding your clown’ means making yourself vulnerable (although always within the safety of the group and Marian and Simon’s watchful and nurturing eye).
To begin with, I found it difficult due to feelings of unfunniness, and too much censorship of myself. However, as the week went on, and I learnt to play the situation and not the idea, and to trust myself to do less, not more – it became easier. Also beginning with a half mask and progressing to red nose and ultimately no nose was hugely successful.
Since returning from the Actors Space, I have used the skills I’ve learnt to teach others. I work with a group of adults who have all accessed mental health services at some point. We come together once a week and make theatre. During the past term we have being doing half mask work concentrating on isolating the action, not stealing the focus, and being very clear with the ‘story’ we are telling – a cheerful festive account of a dysfunctional family and an alcoholic Father Christmas! It’s been very positive for a lot of the group who feel that the mask adds a layer of protection to them as performers, liberating them to use much more of their physicality than they would otherwise.
I will definitely return to The Actors Space and the sincere hospitality and expertise of Marian and Simon. I feel enormously privileged and fortunate to have found this unique and wonderful artistic haven”.
Emily Sly (the one on the right in the video).
“I first discovered the Actors Space when my mum returned from participating in The Creative Actor course, she was raving about how brilliant it had been and recommended I booked in for the following year. As a professional actor I often find it hard to book things in advanced due to my uncertain schedule and so without further ado I booked my place on the Art of Comedy course and flew out to Spain the next day.
Thankfully my ‘spur of the moment’ decision paid off, I arrived a little after the course had started but was welcomed in by Marian, Simon and the participants and soon felt part of the family.
I was attracted to The Art of Comedy workshop in particular as I wanted to deepen my understanding of the Lecoq method with a view to studying physical theatre as an MA and I have to say I was not disappointed, the training offered by Marian and Simon was excellent. I really took to the feedback style and Simons direct approach as I found it really clear and easy to understand:- when something was working we knew why it worked and if it wasn’t funny or it wasn’t truthful we knew why it didn’t work. The course was perfectly structured over the week with well thought out exercises and challenges that took you on a journey into comedy and clowning.
Since the course I have continued to use the techniques I learnt at the Actors Space in my professional work as an actor with Blunderbus Theatre Company and in particular in my work with refugees as a clown volunteer with The Flying Seagull Project in Greece. I would definitely recommend the Actors Space to anyone who is seeking to develop their skills, it was great fun and good value for money, I hope to return soon”.
Marian Masoliver, teacher, talks about the pedagogy involved in the training.
What I like most about our pedagogy is that it nurtures the creativity of the performer and places the actor at the centre of dramatic creation. What is essential in the training is to get the participant to engage with ‘Le Jeu’ (or ‘Play’). Lecoq defines ‘Le Jeu’- “When, aware of the theatrical dimension, the actor can shape an improvisation for spectators using rhythm, tempo, space and form”.
‘Play’ is connected with making the most of any particular moment dramatically. It is about rendering the moment fully into life on stage. To achieve this the actor has to train their body, imagination and creativity. We do this by exploring the actors dramatic and comic presence and the nature and dynamics of conflict; The push and the pull, contraction and expansion, crescendo, rhythm, space, event… The work focusses in like a microscope to reveal the essence of comic/dramatic situation. We work with the ‘motor’ of each scene. With this awareness the actor is free to play.
Also, we ask the question “What do you want to say”? To develop style with no content is a fruitless act. We encourage artistic risks to be taken and together we seek poetic depths to be explored. We are after all creating work that mirrors life itself.
We are practitioners who teach. The techniques we share at the Actors Space have been developed from over 50 years of combined professional experience as actors, directors and teachers. What we offer is hands on physical theatre and screen actor training which at it’s core, is inspired by working with Jacques Lecoq at his international school in Paris.
Ultimately our aim is to empower the actor to create meaningful work. We do this by developing their understanding of all the elements involved, the writing, direction and acting. We call this the ‘creative triangle’.
Monsieur Lecoq (with whom I had the pleasure to study with at his school in Paris) used to say that there were two important things in his pedagogy: Daily life and the observation of nature. I agree, and today in my pedagogical approach and that of The Actors Space we continue to encourage truthful observation, leading to truthful performance.
When students play in a way that is not true, forcing things, ‘inventing’ play that is not anchored in any reality it makes me cringe. The audience doesn’t relate. And we need to relate to be interested – tell me a story because this story is also my story… and by witnessing it I can see myself in a mirror, and I learn something and I grow…That to me is the power of Theatre. If it doesn’t achieve that it is just an empty demonstration.
Robert McKee says ‘Write the truth’, good advice and a rare practice these days. As artists, we need to tell the truth. Yes, let’s write the truth and play the truth – the world needs it more than ever.
Come and learn how daily life, observation of nature and deeply connecting with truth is essential for an actor/creator. Choose the right course for you at The Actors Space, near Barcelona. Our workshops and courses are inspired by our work with Jacques Lecoq and from more than 30 years of experience as actors, teachers and directors of Theatre and Film.
The Creative Actor 16th – 24th July 2017 – With techniques originally developed by Jaqcues Lecoq, this workshop aims to release the creative power of the actor using the body, imagination and play.
Screen Acting 28th July – 5th August 2017 – A practical experience that allows the actor to achieve maximum creative expression within the technical constraints of working on camera.
The Art of Comedy 9th – 17th August 2017 – An adventure in comic creation where the actor discovers his or her own personal ‘Ridiculousness’ and learns how to apply it in both comic and dramatic art.
Directing performance 22nd – 30th August 2017 – Participants learn how to direct actors by giving them freedom within a clear structure, guiding them to create their best work.
XVIII International Theatre and Film Workshops
…what a pleasure to have been doing these workshops for 18 years and always with great, talented people from all over the world! This time the residential workshops took place from mid July to mid September and were attended by 53 people from 15 different nationalities. It is always a joy for me to teach for such special workshops. A melting pot of cultures, experiences and creativity! This is The Actors Space. Marian Masoliver co-director/ teacher at The Actors Space
The Creative Actor “A thousand thank you’s for this wonderful week, full of discoveries, exchanges and encounters -I’ll be back! Clemency” Fiot, France
more info here
The Art of Comedy “When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them, is the best thing that could happen!” Yvonne Link, Germany
more info here
Screen Acting “...I’ve come away with lots of new tools ready to start my degree in acting!…thank you again for helping me along with my career!” Imogen Segrave, UK
more info here
Directing Performance “Profound, enlighting, awakening, liberating…what a wonderful week! Thank you”. Janine Hardy, Ireland.
more info here
TOTAL THEATRE writer Dorothy Max Prior captures the essence of what it is to be a Clown during our summer residential workshop ‘THE ART OF COMEDY’ at The Actors Space near Barcelona.
Read the complete review of this week-long workshop which sold out last year. The course focusses on exploring comic creation, our own ‘Ridiculousness’ and how we can apply it in comic and dramatic acting.
Find out about other Actors Space Theatre and Film acting and directing workshops
Yupiii! The workshop season has started at the Actors Space. The Creative Actor workshop is in full bloom. 16 participants from Spain, Ireland, U.K, Germany, Australia, Portugal and Lebanon have been exploring the Neutral Mask this week. It has been beautiful. And next week we move into the world of full Expressive Masks, and Half Masks!!! On the break right now and I cannot wait! It will be fun…
This wonderful workshop will be followed by The Acting for Camera workshop, The Clown workshop and the Directing Performance workshop (still places left on that one). Summers in my house become a boiling pot of creativity, cooked and spiced by wonderful human beings of all ages and all places. I feel privileged. Or even more than privileged, it is magical.
This is the trailer for the short Film ‘Sugar Girl’, directed by Bruno Simões. Bruno did the Directing Performance workshop with us along with Alice Cozza who plays the main female part and Jacob Woods who also worked in the film. 3 wonderful creators that met here at The Actors Space while in one of our workshops.
There are still some Awards available for those that need them (which means that you can do this workshops for as little as 510€ for the two weeks and this includes accommodation and food. It is a great opportunity!). If you want to find out about the workshops and what they offer click here.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing have a great summer (and a great autumn, winter, year…life!)
Enjoy the trailer, well done Bruno! Cannot wait to see the whole film!