An intensive Summer workshop led by Pierangelo Pompa (Altamira Studio Teater)

ACTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS - A WAY FROM TRAINING TO ACTOR'S DRAMATURGY is an intensive residential workshop, open for professional and non-professional actors, dancers, directors, theatre students and persons interested in body techniques.


The work focuses on the artisanal bases of stage presence and on the narrative and poetic potentialities of physical actions and relationships.

Physical training

At a first level, physical training will aim to awake the actor's attention and reactivity, to develop an extra daily use of energy and a formalised behaviour. Individual and collective exercises from different sources will be composed in a musical structure, which will be developed day after day. At a second level, the training will be a systematic path around the two fundamental elements of the actor's dramaturgy: actions and relationships.

Actor's dramaturgy 1: actions

The presence of the actor on stage can be built on a continuous line of real actions, in order to catch the attention of the spectator at a deeper level, having a strong sensorial and associative impact on her/his perception.

All the levels and details of the actor's behaviour can be studied and composed as real actions, from the most dynamic and extroverted dances to apparently neutral attitudes like standing, sitting or watching. Teaching to the body to express itself through real actions is one of the main aim of physical training.

Real actions are complex organic patterns, organised on several physical and mental levels. Each real action has a specific dynamic consistence and associative quality. The conscious composition of these levels is the artisanal base for a poetic and narrative creation based on the actor's own creativity.

The workshop will explore systematically the technical nature of real actions. We will start from the detailed segmentation of physical patterns, trying to detect the smallest units of scenic behaviour, which are the tools for the actor's composition. We will analyze the internal structure of each segment, its impulse and dynamics, looking for the expressive consequences of these technical factors, deconstructing the mechanical dynamo-rythm of daily actions and reinventing an artistic one. We will detect a set of dynamic prototypes, which are at the base of any kind of real action, but also at the origin of authomatic gestures and gesticulations, which have lost their original associative density. We will observe the wide range of variation, which these prototypes allow, using parameters such as “impulse”, “energy” and “spatialization”. We will do it through different kinds of individual improvisation, which will allow us to meet some fundamental principles of theatre anthropology, such as “absorption” and “equivalence”. Each participant will in this way develop the methodology for the creation of a personal training and a personal stylized physical language. The work will shift continuously form the level of the analysis to the construction of the flow, experiencing how the work of the actor is not different from the work of the dancer.

The exercises proposed for the work on real actions will be chosen partly from the classical repertoire, belonging to the tradition of theatre laboratory, partly on original creations elaborated in the frame of Altamira Studio Teater, on the base of different references (Grotowski, Odin Teatret and theatre anthropology, Suzuki). All the exercises will be concrete and detailed technical situations, which oblige the actor to a specific and effective response, engaging all the body, roothed in the dynamic center and provoking the maximum of attention.

Actor's dramaturgy 2: relationships

The work on relationships is the other main focus of the physical training. Any real action is in itsself a reaction to the context, therefore a living relationship. The actor on stage is immersed in a wide network of potential relationships, involving a landscape of physical and imaginary partners: f.e. the other actors, the spectators, the space, the music, the objects, the costumes, the words. These relationships are the specific material of the actor's creativity. To accept and explore all these relationships is the challenge of the creative actor.

Theatrical realationships are not only an individual experience, but an objective physical event. In order to affect the spectator on the sensorial and imaginative level, all the potential relationships must be made perceptible and be composed artistically. The actor can do it exploring the dynamics of action and reaction, letting her/his actions being moulded by the relationship, developing a formalised organic repertoire, which is the necessary premise for a dialogue through and with actions, music, songs and words. During the workshop, the work on the relationships will be pursued through individual, couple and collective exercises, elaborated around games and sport situations, which will integrate the work on real actions and will progressively develop into theatrical and dancing improvisations.

Experimental sessions: “the rhetoric of the action”

Special experimental sessions will be led around the rhetoric of the action. In spoken language, the figures of speech are extra-daily procedures, used to convey a specific meaning with a specific quality. They are mental and linguistic peripetias, used in order to avoid the shortest and obvious way of expressing a meaning, conveying a specific association and stimulating creative energy in the receiver. What are the equivalent procedures in physiodramatic composition? During the workshop, we will systematically interrogate the classical repertoire of the figures of speech and try to see how they can be an inspiration for the actor's and the director's dramaturgy.

Actions and relationships is intended as a pure research project with an objective technical content. However, the workshop is also a way for Altamira Studio Teater to meet possible collaborators for its coming projects.

About Pierangelo Pompa

See also