Research creation workshops 2018 *

Jelle Koopmans

on Thursday October 25th, 9:30 am to 12:00 am and 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, Bât EST Campus universitaire 


Historians have, for several decades, proposed hypotheses on the way in which preserved texts were performed on the trestles of the Middle Ages. It has, for example, been proposed that in the particular versification of 15th and 16th century pieces one can see a manner of characterizing the choreographic movements, the sung speeches, the juxtaposed replies, etc. Jelle Koopmans (U. Amsterdam), an eminent international specialist in these questions, seeks to put a number of these hypotheses to the test by placing the actor’s body and the performance at the center of attention. Concretely, he will work with several medieval farces where present practitioners will make propositions regarding how to implement voice, space, and gesture. In this dialogue between text and plateau, between acting and analysis, we hope to explore answers to the following important questions: what can the actor of today tell us about the acting of yesterday; and in what aspect is the acting of yesterday, to the extent that we can approach it, able to enlighten and feed the practices of today? Putting the pioneering resources of the Performance Lab of Grenoble to use in collaboration with a group of researchers and practitioners from France and abroad, this workshop seeks to renew our understanding of the history of theatre thanks to the contributions of research-creation. Jelle Koopmans has been working since 1989 at the University of Amsterdam, the French Department and the Institute of Culture and History. His doctoral thesis (University of Leiden, 1987) focused on the happy French sermons of the 15th and 16th centuries. Since then, he has published a number of important editions of dramatic and narrative texts as well as monographs (like The theater of the excluded in the Middle Ages, Paris, Imago, 1997). He is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and President of the Council for Human Sciences (RGW) in the Netherlands. In 2012, the city of Tours awarded him the medal of the city for his work on the French Renaissance.

Exploring Regie beyond representation

A practical introduction to Thomas Ostermeier’s method of theatre direction
with Peter M Boenisch

on Wednesday November 7th, 2:00 pm – 5:00pm, Bât EST Campus Universitaire 


This practical workshop invites MA and PhD students and scholars to get an insight into the principles of the ‘inductive’ method of theatre direction as proposed by German theatre director Thomas Ostermeier, and outlined in our collaboratively authored book The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeier (Routledge 2016). Turning to Henrik Ibsen’s popular 1884 play The Wild Duck (Le canard sauvage) as an example, we will look at some fundamental strategies of an active analysis of a dramatic playtext, based on exercises such as ‘family portrait’ and ‘storytelling’, and the detailed interrogation of the dramatic situation, instead of concentrating on the characters and their psychologies. Participants will thereby acquire basic tools to translate directorial ideas, intellectual concepts and scholarly research into concrete actions that will invite and enable actors to play on stage. These principles can be applied to directorial and dramaturgic work on playtexts as much as to productions in other genres and aesthetics. – Participants are asked to read Le Canard Sauvage in preparation for the workshop, and to bring a copy of the playtext to the session; it is recommended to use Eloi Recoing’s translation into French (Actes Sud 2014). The workshop language is English, but we will use the French translation of the play for our discussion. Peter M Boenisch  is a Professor of European Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London (UK), and lives in Berlin. His research areas are theatre directing, dramaturgy, and contemporary dance, with a particular focus on the German- and Dutch-speaking countries, as well as the institutional aesthetics and politics of the European theatre system. His books include Directing Scenes and Senses: The thinking of Regie (Manchester University Press 2015), The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeier, co-authored with the German theatre director (Routledge 2016), and the volume Littlewood – Strehler – Planchon in the series The Great European Stage Directors (co-edited with Clare Finburgh, Bloomsbury Methuen 2018). He also edited the forthcoming 30th anniversary new edition of David Bradby and David Williams’s seminal study Directors’ Theatre (Macmillan 2019). With Rachel Fensham, he is series co-editor of the Palgrave book series New World Choreographies. He is also a Fellow of the Berlin-based International Research College Interweaving Performance Cultures, and co-founder of the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN).

A Puddle of Quiet

A Workshop with Barbara Erwine (Pr.Architecture, University of Washington)

on Wednesday October 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 am  and 2:00 pm – 5:00pm, Salle des conseils et des enseignants ENSAG

This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to explore and express the sensory qualities of place through multimedia approaches of sketching, collage, poetry, digital animations, movement, etc. The morning session (10:00 -12:00) will include a slide presentation and discussion of sensory qualities of place focusing on our ability to experience, describe and control the shape of sensory space for different sensory modalities. We will also explore how sensory realms may evolve through time due to diurnal and annual rhythms of light/dark, climate, human use patterns, etc. The afternoon session (14:00 – 17:00) will involve a design exercise in which participants work in small groups to develop a metaphor of sensory place exploring one of the sensory modes of their choosing, such as “a Puddle of Quiet.” The group then designs and communicates this sensory metaphor via a variety of representational techniques. Groups are encouraged to consider the qualities of the sensory space they create, its illusory and temporal nature and the means by which they will shape its location and qualities. For example, the metaphor of a “puddle of quiet” might represent a place that is sheltered from sound that you unexpectedly come upon within a noisy environment. It would perhaps be a small space similar to a puddle and might be shallow or perhaps you would step down into it. It would not be bounded by walls, but just by a change in the sound level. The designers would have to work to shape the soundscape around it so that the surrounding sounds were eliminated or significantly reduced when passersby step into this “puddle of quiet.” Groups will include participants with different backgrounds so that presentations of the sensory space metaphors include sketches, words, models and perhaps movement modalities. Students will work on these exercises for two hours and then present their designs to each other (with drawings, words, graphics, small models, etc) in the final hour. Participants are asked to bring materials and tools with them to support the modality in which they would like to explore these metaphorical places. Suggestions of potential materials and tools to bring include sketch paper, pens, paints, collage materials, model and craft materials, clay, laptops, sound simulators, etc. A projection system will be available to present digital content. BIO : Barbara Erwine is a Seattle-based sustainable building design consultant, educator, researcher and writer. At University of Washington, Department of Architecture (Seattle, WA, USA) her teaching has focused on sensory design and passive/energy efficient approaches to resource use in buildings, celebrating the integration of the built environment with the natural world.  Her consulting work applies this integrated design approach to a wide range of built environments including commercial buildings, urban neighborhoods, and public lands. Her recent book, Creating Sensory Spaces: The Architecture of the Invisible (Routledge; 2017), presents a new framework for architectural design that envisions the sensescape as volumetric, shaped sensory places that can be inhabited independent of the solid tectonic constructions that are the traditional purview of the architect. Exploring cathedrals of smell, caves of sound, alcoves of warmth, thresholds of texture, and cones of light, Erwine defines a new language of immersive experience that transforms the design process.

« Creative Writing : Points of view »

A Writing workshop with Lisa Moore

On Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, the writer Lisa Moore conducted a workshop on the notion of point of view in her writing. The doctorate students and professors who participated came from various disciplines such as medicine, physics, mathematics, languages and arts. Biography : Lisa Moore is a professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland where she teaches literature and creative writing. She is a successful writer and her books Alligator (2005), Caught (2013) and her collection of short stories Open (2002) were nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her novel February (2009) was among the finalist for the Man Booker Prize (one of the most prestigeous British literary awards) and won the CBC Canada Reads competition in 2013. She also won the Writer’s Trust Engel Findley Award in the fiction category and the Commonwealth Writers’s Prize in the Canadian and Caribbean literature. She has written articles for big magazines such as Canadian Art, Walrus and Elle, as well as important daily magazines such as The Globe and Mail, The National Post and The Guardian.

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* Program of the associated conferences HERE