Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)
Sara Topham will train in teaching Pure Movement with Shona Morris at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London UK
When I came into the professional theatre world I had a 4-year acting degree and over fifteen years of ballet training. One of the challenges I faced as I moved out of being 'a dancer who wanted to act' towards being an actor (who could still dance!) was that all the skill I had amassed during those years at the ballet barre was dictating my movement in a way that limited me as an actor. Early on in my time at Stratford I worked with a wonderful Alexander coach who said to me: "It's not about getting rid of all that learning, because that learning is valuable; it's about making it a choice rather than a habit." I worked really hard at that, but as anyone one who has made the transition from dancer to actor knows, it's not an easy path, and often times the difficulty was that although I was eager to work at reconnecting with my body outside of the confines of ballet technique, I didn't know what to do in a practical sense to work on it. Then I met Shona Morris.
|Agamemnon at the Stratford Festival|
Photo by Terry Manzo
|Shona and Sara|
RADA has given me unprecedented access to the institution. I will be observing Shona in her first, second, and third-year classes, as well as having the chance to attend some rehearsals where she will be working on Greek Chorus. Different beings and bodies respond differently, and watching her deal with students with a variety of skills and experience, some with a natural aptitude for the work and some who need more help to connect to it, will give me enormous insight into Pure Movement work from a teaching perspective as opposed to the acting perspective. She and I will also have time to discuss the pedagogy, and explore building lesson plans and ways of structuring a syllabus which will be invaluable in terms of increasing my understanding of how to transmit the work and pass it forward. I have so many questions that I can't wait to find the answers to! Or more likely, as is often the case in the theatre, find answers will lead to more questions! I am thrilled to be embarking on this adventure.
The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2018.
Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.