About

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ENTER THE FICTION THROUGH THE BODY

…physical theatre training is not for the accumulation of skills to be applied as character traits in a play, but rather to foster an overall cognitive framework for fictional aesthetic in a real material world.– Maiya J Murphy, Assistant Professor, Performance Studies, National University of Singapore

“I feel like I need my body to work to get into the voice, but then once I find the voice, it helps me get further into my body – truly they are connected!” – Narda Shanley, Performer / Executive Director/Co-CEO, St Martins Youth Arts Centre

WHAT IS THE SUZUKI ACTOR TRAINING METHOD?

“The Suzuki Method of Actor Training was developed by Tadashi Suzuki, Artistic Director of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT). This technique has gained a broad following in professional theatre circles including the Royal Shakespeare Company, among many. The Suzuki Method develops the actor’s inner physical sensibilities, and builds the will, stamina and concentration. The workshop activities include a series of exercises focussing on the use of the feet in relation to one’s centre. These exercises are designed to throw the body off centre while maintaining a consistent level of energy and not swaying the upper body. The training involves precise physical discipline to bring a heightened awareness and emotional and physical commitment to each moment on stage. The Suzuki Method is designed to gain expressive perspective and abilities, and to explore the power of the human body in the theatrical context.” The Japan Society

WHAT IS INTEGRATED ACTOR TRAINING?

From 1997 to 2007 Emma trained exclusively in the Suzuki Actor Training Method with repertory ensemble, Frank Theatre under the direction of Jacqui Carroll and John Nobbs. Inspired by this training in Australia and Japan, and 22 years as a stage and screen actor, Emma Louise Pursey’s Integrated Actor Training is a set repertoire of rigorous, performative physical-based exercises that incorporate speech to focus on the core and feet in relation to the body, mind and voice.

Whilst largely derived from Suzuki’s method, it has been adapted to encourage more natural alignments of the body, focusing on safe technique and longevity of practice.

In October 2016 Emma hosted and co-taught a masterclass here in Melbourne with renowned Japanese performer and former Suzuki company principal actor, Okubo Noriaki. Together they outlined the basic performative principles for this adapted methodology.

The term ‘Integrated actor’ is credited to Dr Jo Loth, a former fellow Frank Theatre actor, now Head of Theatre and Performance at the University of the Sunshine Coast, who created this term as part of her Masters Project entitled ‘Developing a theatre of the integrated actor’.  You can read the full thesis here.

What You Will Learn

The Integrated Actor Training method complements all other acting and performance methodologies and is a powerful tool in the creation of powerful actors.

  • How to integrate and strengthen the body, mind and voice
  • How to be energised, focused and connected
  • How to be centred, grounded and alive in-the-moment
  • Increased vocal strength and dynamic
  • Increased discipline and concentration
  • Intensified performance stamina
  • Breath control
  • Precision and spatial awareness
  • The art of stillness
  • An expanded stylistic range
  • A broadened body-knowledge within a performative context

What You Get

  • Experienced and dedicated teacher with invaluable knowledge of the methodology who is also a working practitioner within the stage and screen industries
  • Select repertoire of rigorous physical-based exercises that incorporate vocal work
  • Supportive learning environment
  • Exciting group dynamic
  • Greater commitment to self-discovery and transformation
  • Professional studio space

This training is most suited to professional actors, dancers and performers, though is open to anyone interested in physical-based training.

NB: Like any physical-based training, profound understanding of this method is experiential and true insight into how it works can only happen through regular commitment to the training.

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Training Photos by Mark Kenfield