Workshops for Universities

Download a PDF Brochure of Applied Mechanics Educational Programs

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Applied Mechanics Theatre Company is the vanguard of artistic collaborative process. For seven years, Applied Mechanics has been researching social constructs through performance, pushing the boundaries of how theater can operate like a city, an ecosystem, or a revolution. Our work reflects the contemporary moment, where narrative multiplicity is the growing way of the world. As evidenced by everything from social media to Svetlana Alexeveich’s winning of the 2015 Nobel prize in literature, our century requires its citizens to engage the public sphere and work together to create shared stories.  Applied Mechanics workshops give participants the tools to do this with creativity and panache.  Focused on risk-taking, innovation, and collaboration, our workshops guide participants in a series of exercises that will empower them to work together with depth and rigor while generating unique creative content.  Participants learn strategies in creative research, immersive design and production, collaborative writing, physical exploration, world building and critical creative response.  We tailor each workshop to the specific needs of each organization or university; we have conducted workshops at Microsoft Corp, University of the Arts, New England Literature Program, among others.

“My whole perspective was shifted.  While I knew theatre making like this exists, to be a part of it was completely different…  I felt liberated.”

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“It validated my goals as an artist/activist and made me realize they’re possible and essential.”

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“Through this process, I became more confident in myself and I felt that I had a voice. It also gave me a sense of pride.  Not only in myself and in my team, but also in [my school] as a whole.”

“I loved working together with my team to create and oversee our project’s full journey.  I have found a quiet leader within myself.”

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“[Students] are not merely vessels… Everyone has the potential to create.  This process taught me that.”

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“This work felt honest.  While it was some of the most challenging theatrical times I have had, it has been some of the most rewarding. The work we did mattered and resonated.  It made me grow as an actor and more importantly this made me grow as a person.”

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WORKSHOPS

Introduction to Immersive Work

Applied Mechanics makes work that engages all the senses. The Introduction to Immersive Work takes students through the process of creating a fuller experience for the audience member, through mindful use of sound, movement, text and space. The Mechanicians help students transform the raw material of themes and images into theatrical provocations, and experiment on fellow classmates to hone and improve their projects. Students experience the thrill of putting performer and audience in direct contact, learning creative ways to negotiate and mine that relationship.

World-Building

The World-Building Workshop allows students to do the impossible: create, in detail, an imaginary society. In this class, both utopias and dystopias are built from scratch, and entire cultures can be invented with their own language, soundscape, physicality and architecture. Once multiple worlds exist, they are brought into contact with each other in guided improvisations, exploring cross-cultural communication and translation. This is a fabulous challenge for students in a multitude of courses of study, including theater, modern language, sociology, anthropology and political science.

The Three Cs: Collage, Collaboration and Creative Research

The Applied Mechanics process is radically democratic and relies very heavily on research. Learning the 3C model gives students the tools to scavenger hunt for creative dramaturgy, bringing disparate elements together in a way that encourages them to make systemic, evocative, and often surprising connections. Individual research is combined and translated into movement etudes, soundscapes, and texts which can be collaged together in startling ways. This workshop teaches students to listen well and rely on each other as collaborative allies, facing complex challenges together and overcoming them in ways they never could alone.

PREVIOUS WORKSHOP PARTNERSHIPS:

 

Temple University

showing of Portmanteau and discussion with students about Applied Mechanics process

Headlong Performance Institute

showing of Portmanteau and Overseers, after-show discussion with students.

University of the Arts

month-long residency culminating in CHRONOTOPE: ROUGH DRAFT, a 20 minute piece created collaboratively with a student team of 23, premiered at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

New England Literature Program

two-day residency with workshops on World Building, and showings of Portmanteau

 

For more information, contact Artistic Director Rebecca Wright, rebsonwright@gmail.com