Margolis Method Professor Certification Level I & The Summer Intensive

Wow this summer is flying by like I cannot believe!

We had an enormously successful launch of our Margolis Method Professor Certification Level I program in June. I was thrilled to take part in facilitating this new program as faculty here at the Margolis Method Center. Level I Certification equipped a group of eager and inspiring Theatre Education professionals with concepts, exercises, and improv structures to incorporate into their existing syllabuses at their universities and colleges.

The Center’s Summer Intensive followed right on the heels of the Professor Certification, and we’re currently two weeks into the summer session. It has been phenomenal. As usual, the students joining us in the studio are immensely generous, hard working, and creative. It should prove to be yet another mind blowing summer, and I’m thrilled to be teaching my first classes in one hour Practice sessions where we focus on breaking down exercises for a microscopic exploration of their mechanics and principles.

Reflection Four: A Summer’s Journey Ends

Reflection Four of my Facebook contributions (found here).

Another amazing summer has flown by!  It’s always an eye opening experience to work so intensively with an array of passionate students, all of whom have different levels of experience with the Method.  For Company members, who train side by side with artists just entering the program, the fresh perspective of new students helps to “keep us honest.”  They bring up questions that can challenge us and also help us clarify concepts and exercises we’ve come to take for granted. Continue reading

Reflection Three: Transitions

Reflection Three of my Facebook contributions (found here).

Over the past few weeks we’ve been focusing on transitions–the space between acting beats–and I have to say, I’m once again amazed how easy they are to overlook (even after 9 years of working in the studio, I’m still discovering deeper and deeper layers of understanding)!  Kari always reminds us that our tendency is to be “action oriented,” and since turning our attention to transitions, it became clearer than ever how true that is!  It’s ironic that transition time is so easily forgotten when you consider how vital it is.  When I allow myself to just take the time I need, there’s absolutely nothing like it!  I had the pleasure of working with a long-term colleague during an improvisational structure in class, and one of the reasons I felt our work was so satisfying for both us and the audience was because we respected and embraced our own and each others’ transitions.  There were moments we worked ourselves into dramatic situations that had come to a rest, and by keeping those moments alive and letting them resonate, we gave ourselves time to size up both where we were and what the audience needed next.  By specifically focusing on this transition time we were able to see options that we would have otherwise overlooked.  It’s moments like these in the studio that hammer in the truth that “theatre lives in the transitions.” Continue reading

Reflection Two: Packets

Reflection Two of my Facebook contributions (found here).

Theatre is storytelling.  And one of my favorite things about training at the Margolis Method Center is that we get to make theatre every day.  Every exercise we are confronted with challenges us in some aspect of technique to hone our craft as theatre artists.  Our training approaches the craft of acting like a diamond—a whole entity with many facets—and on any given day we explore a single facets as part of the greater whole.  Even when focusing on a singular concept, we never lose focus of the actor’s primary need: to tell a story. Continue reading

An Introduction and Reflection One: Objects

What follows is an introduction as well as my first reflection for a series of reflections I’m doing for the Margolis Method Center’s Facebook page.  Expect more to come!

Greetings Facebookers!  My name is J, Hanson, and I’m pleased to be composing a series of reflections on training here with the Margolis Method Center in beautiful Barryville, NY.  I will be writing about my personal challenges and breakthroughs in the studio as well as those of the group at large, and I would be thrilled if folks would pipe in with their own thoughts on the morsels I bring up.  But first, a brief personal history.

Continue reading

“Munch a Bunch Fundraising Brunch…”

“… and help us beat the economic punch!”

We hosted a quirky, performative fundraising brunch in the Margolis Method Center‘s home of upstate NY.  Donors were treated to a rich 1950’s environment, archetypal character/servers, and ongoing performances by Margolis Method Center actors.  Catering generously provided by Jill’s Kitchen of Narrowsburg, NY.

Many thanks to our wonderful fans and supporters who make our ongoing artistic efforts possible!

“Sneak a Peek” performance in Narrowsburg, NY

Sneak A Peek BrochureI performed this past weekend along with other company members, long term students, and summer students of the Margolis Method Center, at an improvisational performance event in Narrowsburg, NY.  The goal was to introduce the audience to our creative process by showing them various levels of improvisational structures that we use to create theatre.  Along with insightful introductions and commentary by Master Teacher and Artistic Director of the Margolis Brown ADAPTORS,  we kept the stage alive and the audience on the edge of their seat with the excitement that comes with live improv and actors at work.  We intend to produce more such events in the future, with times and dates to be announced.  A heartfelt thanks to all who were able to attend.  It is always a pleasure to connect with communities and take them behind the scenes in the creative process.

DigitFest 2009 “meats” Digit Feast 2009.

This past weekend was DigitFest 2009 in Narrowsburg, NY, a celebration of Digital Art.  The students and company members of the Margolis Method Center submitted a film for the “Quick and Gritty Video Slam,” which is basically a 48 hour film competition.  The film had to be shot in Narrowsburg over the weekend, and had to be less than 3 minutes in length.  We put our devious heads together and came up with Digit Feast 2009.  What happens when the mindlessness of everyday life gets to us?  At what point do we stop living, appreciating every moment, and become zombies?  With Narrowsburg as our Everytown, USA, we came up with an entertaining, creepy, and beautiful exploration of this idea.  And we had a LOT of fun doing it.  Much to our delight, we won the GRAND PRIZE at the competition!  The original song “Zombies in Narrowsburg” was put together by myself and the very talented Kalen Keir.  Check it out:

Margolis Method – Workshop and Performance Event May 2-3

This past weekend was a great workshop with the Margolis Method in Manhattan, NY.  I spent the prior two weeks out there training and gearing up for the performance event that followed the workshop, on May 3rd.  We set up a slew of improvisational structures for some exciting, edge-of-your-seat theatre.  It was a great opportunity to let an audience into our creative process, producing theatre on your feet with smart, trained actors.  Another performance will be taking place in Narrowsburg, NY in late June.

Kudos to all actors who came to the workshop and to all who were able to make it to the performance!

In Narrowsburg Shadows – continued

Here it is! The film I helped produce and conceptualize for the DigitFest 2008 Quick and Gritty Film Festival. The song was written for the piece by me, and the other artists involved are colleagues from the Margolis Method Center in Barryville, NY. They include: Ian Bivins, Briar Dehaven, Jalyn Knobloch, Tania Liberata, Erin Neufer, and Maggie Danger.  The film festival had a few rules; it had to be shot within June 13-15, had to be under 3 minutes, and all footage had to be taken in Narrowsburg, NY.  It was a great experience and I’m so pleased with the outcome. Enjoy!