15-minute Street Theater Play

In this workshop the Living Theatre actors and the student participants rehearse and perform a 15-minute long street theater play. The workshop requires at least 10 participants and we can work with as many as forty. Generally, the workshop runs Friday night, Saturday and Sunday day with a performance at the end of the workshop on Sunday.

For fifty years The Living Theatre has been exploring theatrical technique; from the political theater of Piscator, through the expressionism of Meyerhold, to the raw emotion of Artaud, creating some of the most startling productions in modern theater. One of these is our current production of Not in My Name, a protest play against the death penalty. Not in My Name examines the place capital punishment has in our society. The students are introduced to skills that build ensemble communication, various techniques for vocal expression, stage movement and text development, and interaction with the audience, breaking the fourth wall. Not in My Name is a fifteen-minute play, taught in a two- or three-day workshop requiring about fourteen hours of rehearsal. At the end of the rehearsals, it can be performed for an audience by the participants. This play, performed for the last ten years in Times Square, on days when there are executions in the United States, combines all the aspects of our continuing research.

As in all our workshops we:

  • Discuss Piscator and Brecht’s idea of political theatre and apply it in our workshop.
  • Teach Meyerhold’s Biomechanics as a form of expressive movement and apply it in rehearsal and performance.
  • Expose the students to the work of Artaud and give them the opportunity to experience his ideas in exercises, in rehearsal and in performance.
  • Introduce the students to audience participation and the idea of non-fictional acting.
  • Participate in classes including theater, dance and interdisciplinary classes.
  • Relate all our work to practical aspects of performing in traditional as well as experimental forms.
  • Perform with the students at the culmination of the workshop.