Rehearsal Log: Frantic Assembly Workshops

Usually our semesters include 10 regular rehearsals. This semester we only had 9 regular rehearsals. But we made up for it with a very special opportunity! On November 5th, we were incredibly lucky to take part in a special day of workshops with the internationally renowned company Frantic Assembly.

Founded in the U.K. in the mid 1990's, Frantic Assembly has produced work around the globe both independently and in partnership with other theatre companies and playwrights. In addition to their own shows, their team was responsible for movement direction for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (West End, Broadway, UK & Ireland Tour, US tour), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the TV series Humans (AMC, Channel 4 & Kudos). They are known for their unique physical approach to devising and creating theatre. 

Frantic Assembly has always been about more than the work on the stage. It is about the ethos of collaboration, of empowerment, of that constant desire to improve. It is about telling stories in a voice we don’t always hear and about finding talent in places we don’t always look.

This Frantic Approach is perfect for our ensemble for a number of reasons:

  1. It focuses on devising and creating material

  2. It emphasizes nonverbal communication

  3. It centers on movement (we all got our heartrates up!

  4. It relies on collaboration and a strong ensemble

We were joined by practitioner Krista Vuori. Krista led two 2.5 hour workshops – one for each of our ensembles – specifically tailored to the group’s interests. We worked with partners, in small groups, and as a large group to create material and work on our skills for devising our own movement and choreography. You can see a few of the exercises we worked on in the videos and photos below:

Everyone was working so hard, we didn't have a chance to take many pictures, but that's the sign of a fun, engaging day (Yes, our Monday ensemble even got to fly!) What's been really special is seeing our actors come into rehearsal in the weeks since our workshop and continue to play with the exercises and techniques we learned with Krista. We've had requests for Frantic-style warm ups, and we've been seeing a lot of "push hands" and partnering during dance party. Thank you to Krista and to the entire team at Frantic Assembly for making this great day possible and for developing our ensemble's knowledge and potential!

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