Stephanie Courtney. U.S.A.
Stephanie Courtney is an international theatrical director and producer. Originally from San Francisco, California, Stephanie now lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.
She is the Artistic Director of Fortune’s Fool Productions in Dublin, producing and directing Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest for Free Shakespeare in the Iveagh Gardens. She starts rehearsals for Midsummer Night’s Dream in July of 2013.
Stephanie teaches Viewpoints for the MA Theatre Training Programme at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Theatre History and Movement at The Gaiety School Of Acting, The National Theatre School of Ireland; and Scene Study and Shakespeare Study at The Abbey School of Music and Drama. Stephanie returns to California every August to teach a Master Class in Viewpoints and Suzuki at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.
Before moving to Dublin in 2010, Stephanie was the Artistic Director of the award winning, Wilde Irish Productions in San Francisco, where she directed the critically acclaimed Cripple of Inishmaan , A Joycean Christmas, Beckett Shorts for the San Francisco Beckett Festival and their annual Bloom’s Day Festival in the Bay Area.
Stephanie holds an MFA in Directing from Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island.
Exploring Viewpoints in Mask
This workshop starts with an overview of basic Viewpoints exercises that introduce/strengthen the actor’s use of: tempo, duration, kinesthetic response, repetition, shape, gesture, architecture, spatial relationship and topography. This preliminary work creates an ensemble among participants and engages the actor’s physical impulse responses.
We then work with neutral masks to reduce the actor’s reliance on facial expression as a form of communication and to increase playfulness and a deeper sense of discovery. By increasing awareness in the mask and focusing expression and response in the body, the Viewpoints expand the actor’s presentation beyond literal, cause and response actor behaviour.
Once the ensemble is acclimated to the principles of Viewpoints, we will begin to explore masked characterization through specific shapes and gestures. These physical, masked characters will then continue to explore a new theatrical landscape using all of the Viewpoints.
This workshop allows the actor to find complete freedom, playfulness and awareness while strengthening physicality through the exploration and expression of internal and external impulses.