THE ART OF PERFORMANCE
The famous Greek lyricist
Simonides once said that poetry is the art of painting with speech. The
ShawChicago theatre company, a non-profit organization created in 1994,
brings to life this common phrase with a dedication to diction and text
of plays by famous authors.
The cultural affairs committee
brought the expert acting troupe to campus for a workshop that provided
students with advice for careers in theatre, tips and techniques for acting,
and an evening performance.
"The focus of the workshop
was on developing distinct and meaningful vocal qualities during the oral
interpretation of literature," said John Sebestyen, assistant professor
of communication arts at the College. "The workshop leaders, Terence Gallagher
and Mary Michelle, enriched the work that I have been doing with my theatre
students. They made strong parallels with the training the students have
been receiving at Trinity and the skills that will be useful for them in
the theatre on a larger scale."
The workshop activities began
with a vocal warm up to help make the students feel more comfortable. Through
this tool, the ShawChicago actors demonstrated how to breathe effectively
After the warm up, the professionals
emphasized how to read a script effectively for an audition and pay attention
to repetition, numbers, negativity, and antitheses within a text to make
a reading more interesting.
In the evening, four actors
from ShawChicago performed snippets from The Importance of Being Earnest,
by Oscar Wilde, The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, Brown Penny,
by William Butler Yeats, Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw,
She Walks in Beauty, by Lord Byron, and How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
"The workshop was a great
learning experience for students," Sebestyen said. "ShawChicago encouraged
my students to become better performers by making more informed, inspired,
and deliberate performance choices. The College wants to provide more opportunities
for its students to meet with professionals in their chosen field; the
visit by the Shaw Chicago members was just one more way to do that."