We love to share how we make theatre with you and from time to time bring our favorite artists to Austin to share what they know as well. Check back for upcoming workshops or better yet sign up for our newsletter.
Here are some of the workshops we have offered in the past and are happy to customize any or them in order to fit your needs.
Just email us at CB[at]GrackleJack.com
Spymonkey's Intro to Clown Masterclass with Aitor Basauri (click here to learn more!)
In this workshop you will learn to discover what makes you funny, hone your skills, and practice making an audience belly laugh. Through clear and specific instruction, Aitor will support you to develop and fine tune your comedic skills in a safe and fun environment. This positive group dynamic will allow you to focus on following your impulse, being adventurous, taking risks and learning to trust your spontaneous self. In this highly enjoyable workshop we will teach you technically how to make people laugh through status play-offs, parody, improvisation and many more games and exercises developing trust and complicity with the group. In this atmosphere of discovery and revelation, you will be developing and showing new material. Be prepared to find the pleasure in your own ridiculousness, stay optimistic, discover your funny, and get ready to laugh until your face hurts.
Making New Work
This class is a laboratory, where students will explore (on their feet) a range of methodologies, philosophies, and approaches to creating performance and theatre. The students will practice a variety of ways of staging, both with and without text and always in relation to being a “live event.” In addition to the laboratory aspect of the class, a number of plays, essays, and artists’ manifestos from the Dadaist to contemporary artists will be discussed as we explore how their ideas can lead us in finding our own unique theatrical voice.
What makes an object come to life? In this visual storytelling workshop students will explore that question through different types of puppetry. From simple everyday objects to Bunraku-style puppetry, students will create stories, build projects and experiment with ways to say less and show more.
In this class students write and perform original solo pieces. Students will create a five to ten minute piece using material from their own life experiences, imaginations, personal objects, newspaper clippings, obituaries, celebrity doppelgängers, passions, and pet peeves. The class begins with research and writing exercises designed to help develop character and story, and then shifts to the elements of performance: the physical and vocal expression of the newly created characters and stories. Readings from Anna Deavere Smith, Nilaja Sun, John Leguizamo, Holly Hughes, Lisa Kron, Spalding Gray, and other solo performers will be required. Students will leave this class with an original piece of theater that they may expand on in the future, a variety of physical and written methods to develop characters, and tools to help them create new work.
Reclaiming Your Creative Voice
Are you an artist, writer, or a creative person feeling stuck and just not having fun doing the thing you love? Then this workshop is for you. Using Adrienne Kennedy's book People Who Led to My Plays, we will create personal history maps that connect you to the events that shaped and influenced you, things you might not even realize had an impact. Passions, fears, and everything in between are the sources of our aesthetic, getting to the root will help writers reconnect to their unique voice and rekindle the joy of making art.
Money and resources should never get in the way of making theatre. In this workshop students learn how to to tackle a variety of stories from plays by Euripides to monster movies. By combining accessible materials and creating innovative staging techniques, the stories come to life in an entirely new way.
Le Jeu: From Playing to Making
Learn how to play your way into performance and devising new work. Through game-playing and improvisational exercises, students will discover "complicite" (how to work together) and "jeu" (the pleasure of playing). This class focuses on identifying the rules of a game, playing within them or against them, and ultimately realizing that there is always a game happening.
Experimental Writing for the Stage
Plays don’t have to always have a couch in them, but if they do, please make it a couch that does more than sit there. Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Adrienne Kennedy, Maria Irene Fornes, Sibyl Kempson, Sarah Kane, the Dadaist, and other art movements will inspire the writers. In this class students will write short plays, two to 10 minutes in length, tap into inner passions and outrages and dare to go beyond the couch play.