Master Class Series
Since 1999, the Actors' Training Project of Oakland, CA, has sponsored a broad series of master classes and visits with dynamic artists who are working around the country and abroad. All of these extraordinary visitors are interested in the integration of acting, voice and movement skills that is the particular work of the Actors' Training Project; they also have a wide range of other profession-related interests and areas of expertise. Informal videotapes of all of the sessions are archived for student viewing. The Master Class Series has engendered exciting performances, collaborations and projects, both trans-national and trans-continental.

Andre Bernard: Teacher of Ideokinesis, Creative Body Alignment
H.S. Shivaprakash, Ph.D.: Poet and Playwright
Kunsu Shim, Gerhard Stäbler: Composers
John McConville, M.Div.: Dancer, Choregrapher, Teacher, Director
Anna Hadzi: Actress and Producer
Michele Cuomo, MFA: Director, Actress, Dancer, Teacher
Nathan Thomas, Ph.D.: Actor, Director, Composer, Teacher, Scholar
Bill Smith, MFA: Teacher, Director, Filmmaker, Writer, Actor

March 2000
Please welcome the splendid Michele Cuomo, whose teaching at the University of Mississippi draws from her dynamic background in voice and movement studies, professional acting, directing and producing. Michele studied mime with masters Marcel Marceau and Daniel Stein; she is certified by the Society of American Fight Directors and a certified Kripalu Yoga instructor. She also studied Japanese Butoh and Linklater voice work with master teachers, and completed directing workshops with Ann Bogart.

As a professional actress and director, Michele has worked with theatres both nationally and abroad, enlivening texts from the classics to the avant-garde. She was a company member of The Modern Theatre of Myth , founding member of The Oberon Theatre Ensemble, and a fellow of Elysium Theatre Company, for which she played the title role in Emilia Galotti in both New York and Germany. She played Agnes in Reality Theatre's production of Agnes of God, for which she was named Best Actress in Outlook Magazine. Her original performance group, NICE GIRLS DO, has produced five shows in New York.

Awarded for her teaching at Ohio State University; Michele now teaches acting (Shakespeare, commedia, modern, alternative styles), voice (Linklater, Fitzmaurice) and movement (yoga, Laban, mime, stage combat). She is currently directing Something Cloudy, Something Clear, for the Tennessee Williams Festival in Mississippi.

SUNDAY, MARCH 19 10:00 TO 4:00
Alternative Approaches to Rehearsal

Michele specializes in working with plastic and experimental styles to free the actor in the performance of all types of drama. Says Michele: "In the morning we will explore alternatives to Stanislavsky-based theatre techniques: Robert Wilson, Ann Bogart, Tadashi Suzuki, Etienne Decroux. In the afternoon, we will approach more Stanislavsky-based techniques, inspired by the work of Sanford Meisner, Kristin Linklater, Andy Garrison, Michael Chekhov. Here we will bridge the discoveries made in the morning session to a more realistic playing style. Text: Ibsen's A DOLLHOUSE. Lunch break 1:00 to 1:30; please bring your lunch.

MONDAY, MARCH 20 6:30 TO 10
Commedia Workshop

An exploration of the stock characters and lazzi (set "bits" created from improvisation) in commedia dell'arte. The stock characters will be rehearsed through character walks, animal and mask exercises; lazzi will be guided from scenarios and improvisation. The characters will then inhabit the world of Ibsen's A Dollhouse! Says Michele: "The commedia dell'arte was an actor-centered theatre, with no playwright or director. Through a kinesthetic as well as psychological understanding of character, vibrant theatre may be created through the actor's body, voice and imagination alone!" Also: physical warm-up, team-taught.

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 6:30 TO 10
Dada Performance to Dada-Dollhouse Workshop!

Extra! Extra! Fragments From the Dada Cabaret, or (Yankee) Dada Doodles: a dada-inspired performance featuring Michele and Lissa! Dance and readings from the period. Followed by the workshop: Instant Poetry Creation and Performance--using Ibsen's A Dollhouse! Says Michele: "The exuberance and rebellion of the dadaists still echo in the work of contemporary performance artists and avant-garde theatre companies today. An exploration of dadaist practices frees and stimulates the performer to make bolder choices in all theatrical endeavors."