I love collaboration. Isn’t that what the arts are all about? I work with such open and generous people and it is always fun to sit down and brainstorm ideas. Together we develop those ideas into endeavors that far exceed anything any of us could do on our own. Each of our workshops start as someone’s idea and blossoms into something intricate and grand as each one involved brings something to the table. Today was such a day. From beginning to end it was filled with meetings that explored, probed, and created. Every meeting created its promise.
One such collaboration has been with our partners at UCLA. Myrl Schreibman, faculty head of our UCLA Arts Camps/Workshops, and I have a unique relationship. Myrl is a former fencing champion and he has taken the vocabulary of the presentation, the lunge, the parry, the glide and the flick into the verbal world. We enjoy our reparte which usually brings productive results. Last week I suggested to Myrl that we offer a Shakespeare Workshop this next summer taught by Armin Shimerman. Armin is an accomplished actor and an excellent teacher of Shakespeare. He is probably best known for his role as Quark in Star Trek but he is seen frequently on television and on the stage. He has taught in our UCLA Arts Camps Workshops for the past couple of years and I just thought it would be great to have him focus on the great Shakespearian plays. Myrl took it a gigantic step forward. The workshop will not only focus on Shakespeare but on it will be a Shakespeare and Classical Performance Workshop. It’s a brilliant idea because our experience has shown that when students audition for college their weakest performance is usually in their classical monologue! Students will be discovering the technique of playing the characters of Moliere, the ancient Greeks and other classical plays through monologue and scene work. We’ve scarcely finished 2008 and I’m excited about 2009.