THE EMBODIED HUMORS a workshop with Merry Conway
Presented by Associazione Vera Stasi
July 7-12, 2020
6 days with 33 contact hours. Limited to 16 participants.
Taught in English (with simultaneous Italian translation)
Merry Conway has developed a progression that builds the ability to understand – and inhabit – in an experiential way — the impact of the four temperaments on human beings and dramatic characters, especially (though not exclusively) in Shakespeare and Elizabethan plays. This pedagogy reflects Merry’s research over 13 years, working with a group of hardy colleagues and students and reading Elizabethan medical texts and later interpretations to translate theory into a workable technique.
For actors, this humoral approach provides a vital baseline that can inform a character’s fundamental life-rhythm and emotional landscape. The practice enlarges the actor’s performative range. The scope of the work can provide a bridge to approaching much classical text. For directors, the work can provide a tool to help the actor augment their physical life.
For those outside the theatre, this study of macro/micro contextualization enlightens an awareness of being in the world rather than just on the earth, which can be a heartening and valuable exploration. There are interesting parallels with current thought. As David Abrams puts it: “Sensory perception…is the silken web that binds our separate nervous systems into the encompassing ecosystem.”
The Humoral tradition, combining Greek, Assyrian and Egyptian traditions, was formulated by Galen and remained the Western world’s principal philosophical and medical thought right up to Descartes. Shakespeare used humoral implications to amplify character and motive.
Born in New Mexico, MERRY CONWAY trained in the US and England, her primary mentors being the legendary movement teacher, Trish Arnold, as well as Jane Gibson and Sue Lefton. She also studied with Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Since the 1970s she has pursued her love of physical expression through teaching, performing and coaching. She is a Permanent Faculty member at Shakespeare & Company.
She has taught at a number of American institutions; including Carnegie-Mellon, Emerson, Brandeis, New York University and Cal Arts. In London she taught at The Guildhall School, Mountview Theatre School and Drama Studio. In Italy she has taught at the Teatro della Pergola School in Florence, University of Rome Masters Program, Link Academy in Rome, Stromboli Fluido Numero 9, Linklater Roma and Conimieiocchi in Calabria. She has taught workshops with Kristin Linklater at the Kristin Linklater Center in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, and will return there in May. She annually teaches at the Linklater Center in New York City and will return there for the annual Shakespeare Workshop in June. Merry conducted a Humoral workshop in Tuscania in 2018, and has brought the work several times to New York.
For 20 years Merry was co-Artistic Director of Conway & Pratt Projects, creating large-scale installations with performance, and large community involvement.
Serving as Movement Coach for Anna Deavere Smith for over 10 years, Merry had the opportunity to work on the specificity of gesture and expression for a range of characters’ in Smith’s powerful stage and film versions of Twilight/Los Angeles and House Arrest.
Based in New York for 38 years, Merry has returned to her homeland, New Mexico, to absorb the lessons of the landscape.
The workshop costs 460 euros. There are some scholarships available. There is an additional 10 euro fee to become a member of the Vera Stasi Associazione.
The lovely space is in the center of the picturesque Etruscan town of Tuscania. Lodging and travel information can be found by visiting the website: http://www.progettiperlascena.org
For more information about the Embodied Humors workshop, you can email Merry at email@example.com
For questions about registration and lodging and logistics, email Silvana Barbarini at firstname.lastname@example.org