Umbria 2016: International Symposium for Directors

A training program for professional directors, choreographers, actors and others.

About International Symposium For Directors
A training program for professional directors, choreographers, actors and others. Internationally renowned theatre artists conduct workshops and lecture/demonstrations. During the Symposium, participants will travel to Umbrian towns such as Orvieto, Perugia or Assisi to get a taste of Umbrian art and culture. Performances at local arts festivals and community fairs are also included. In addition, participating directors may conduct their own workshops to share insights and techniques with their colleagues.

Participants will be exposed to a variety of theatrical perspectives during the Symposium, from instructors who will expand their sense of what is possible in the theatre. Directors attending the Symposium see how prominent artists on the international scene create their unique productions. The workshops are participatory, and it is expected that all attendees will engage actively in the processes of the various teaching artists.

Symposium session two July 27 - August 10 - Duration 15 days, Teacher:

Theater for the 21st Century - Marianne Weems (USA)
Media affects every aspect of our experience. How can the stage be updated to reflect our 21st century lives? We will investigate bringing narratives and new forms together to create an innovative theatrical language. We expand our toolkits as we work through exercises and sketches for integrating media (film acting vs. stage acting, composing with technology, merging media with meaning, and more.)

Shifting Concepts from Brain to Bone - Yoshiko Chuma (Japan)
Chuma will guide a workshop in which participants will transform conceptual ideas into physical movement. The investigation process of transformation from intellectual concepts to physical movements becomes an exercise for both the brain and the body. There will also be several lectures by Chuma about past and present work, and action exercises with props. For more than three decades now, Yoshiko Chuma has been building unique structures in the liminal area between her native Japanese culture and her adopted American one. Using trained and pedestrian movers, virtuoso instrumentalists (whose playing she often conducts), film, video, and sculptural forms by collaborating artists, she develops unusual time-based art works that blend the live and the recorded, the flat and the three-dimensional, people and things.

Chinese Opera Technique for Contemporary Performance - Tian Mansha (China)
Tian Mansha’s performance methodology training workshop for directors leads participants, from understanding their own bodies, to exploring the use of breath, thought, emotion, energy, and transmittance for working with actors. She will introduce the three essential energies (“jing,” “qi,” “shen”) of xiqu (“Chinese opera”) performance; how emotion is generated; and, when emotion is generated, aside from physiological changes within the body, what external expressions are employed.

Tian Mansha is a prominent performing artist of Sichuan Opera and a National 1st Rank Actress and director. She is a forerunner in the contemporary Sichuan Opera reform, and one of the most important people in contemporary Chinese Opera Theatre, who is engaged in acting, directing and teaching at the same time. She is one of the few artist and directors in China, who tries to find modern forms and expressions of the XiQu and to introduce modern forms of teaching.

Expanding the Notion of Where Artistic Inspiration Comes From - Martha Clarke (USA)
Bring your own projects to develop as you learn Clarke’s multi-disciplinary approach to theatre-making. Taking inspiration from visual art, text, music, film and other forms, learn to use all tools at your disposal as you prepare and develop a new work. Clarke and playwright Samuel D. Hunter will share their collaborative methods on a new piece they are developing, enriching your connection to these artists’ creative process.


The artists will stay in La MaMa Umbria Residency. The house is a a former 700 year-old convent situated in the countryside surrounding the town of Spoleto in central Italy, less than two hours away from Rome. La MaMa Umbria functions as an International Artists Residency, hosting groups during periods of work, research and artistic creation. La MaMa Umbria have 13 rooms and can accomodate around 30 people in the same place they work. Is an old monastery, rebuild as artistic residency.

The building has one rehearsal space, an outside stage of 12mt x 12 mt, one space for galleria, one cafe, one office and one common kitchen.

While most of the time will be spent in workshops at La MaMa Umbria, at least one day has been set aside for excursions to nearby cities. We will attend at least one performance event at a local arts festival, which may include Umbria Jazz in Perugia, Spoleto Estate, Todiarte Festival in Todi, etc. There may also be opportunities to see additional performances on an ad hoc basis. The group will visit nearby towns such as Perugia, Umbria’s capital, Deruta, where world-famous ceramics are still painted by hand or Assisi, where the famous Cathedral of St. Francis has reopened after extensive renovation and reconstruction. In addition, we will share an old fashioned Italian tradition, a sagra, or community celebration dedicated to celebrating the specialties produced by small Umbrian villages (such as truffles, olive oil and wine.) Sagras typically include an abundance of locally prepared specialty foods, local wines, entertainment, costumes and games.

Extra Workshops:
In addition to our internationally renowned guest teaching artists, there will be an opportunity for you and your colleagues to share exercises and techniques with each other in late night sessions. You may propose a special workshop to offer in one of the late (after dinner) sessions. Use the space on the registration form to describe what you would share. Not all proposals will be accepted based on time and space availability.

The La MaMa International Symposium is accredited through Sarah Lawrence College. While the Symposium is geared for working professionals, some slots may be filled by university students, who may get credit (2 credits for one session of the Symposium and 1 credit for the Retreat) for their participation through an arrangement with Sarah Lawrence College. For more information, please contact La MaMa at (212) 254-6468.

$2,800 for one session / $5,400 for both sessions. Fee includes all workshops, housing and meals, ground transportation from the Rome airport to and from La MaMa Umbria, excursions by bus, van or car, including tickets to performances at a local festival, entrance fees to museums and other points of interest.

Application Process:
Space is limited. Registrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants must fill out the Registration Form. Space is secured with a deposit of $1,000 due with the registration form.

Application: http://lamama.org/umbria-15-application-form-directors-symposium/

More informations: http://lamama.org/umbria_directors/