Training

TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

It is through the dialogue between Suzuki and Viewpoints, two very distinct yet complementary approaches to the art of acting, that the philosophy and technique of SITI Company is continually explored, revitalized, and articulated.

One of the most important aspects of SITI’s work is the teaching of our training techniques to actors and theater artists. Each year we find ourselves in studios throughout the United States and the world, working with old friends as well as a constantly growing number of new faces. In addition to teaching these workshops, SITI members are on the faculties of such institutions as The Juilliard School, New York University, and Columbia University.

The Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method are two distinct methods of actor training used in building and staging SITI productions. Company members have been trained by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki and are uniquely qualified to introduce other theater artists to these challenging and innovative methods.

The Suzuki Method and Viewpoints as taught by Anne Bogart and the SITI Company are two of the most essential components of my creative toolkit. They afford the artist control in order to make conscious, deliberate choices; they encourage flexibility and freedom in the exploration of one’s instincts; they demand presence and moment-to-moment living in space; and they promote a range of versatility beyond the constraints of one’s habitual nature. Essentially, they continually awaken the fact that my mind, body, and spirit are tools for expression, with as many possibilities as are present in the human experience. Not a bad tool, I think.” —Adrian Rieder, theatre artist/playwright

SUZUKI METHOD

Developed by internationally acclaimed director Tadashi Suzuki and the Suzuki Company of Toga, the Suzuki Method’s principal concern is with restoring the wholeness of the human body to the theatrical context and uncovering the actor’s innate expressive abilities. A rigorous physical discipline drawn from such diverse influences as ballet, traditional Japanese and Greek theater, and martial arts, the training seeks to heighten the actor’s emotional and physical power and commitment to each moment on the stage. Attention is on the lower body and a vocabulary of footwork, sharpening the actor’s breath control and concentration.

VIEWPOINTS

A technique of improvisation that grew out of the postmodern dance world. It was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie, who broke down the two dominant issues performers deal with—time and space—into six categories. She called her approach the Six Viewpoints. SITI’s Anne Bogart and our company members have expanded Overlie’s notions and adapted them for actors. The Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively, and to generate bold, theatrical work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation, and strength in movement and makes ensemble playing really possible.

SITI Company offers a year-long Conservatory, leads training sessions at our New York City home, and runs a four-week Summer Intensive at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Company members also lead workshops around the U.S. and internationally throughout the year.