This workshop emphasizes the link between writing, presence, and performance through three tools from the later training of Konstantin Stanlislavski: the impression, the game, and the étude. The étude is a structured improvisatory short piece intended for the practice of a point in acting technique, but can also be used for great effect in generating writing. Exploratory in nature, it allows the actor or writer to exit the world of overthinking and, instead, think through action.
By exploring new approaches drawn from Russian theatre games as well as aspects of psychoanalysis, you will explore different levels of attention and awareness, infusing your writing with spontaneity, urgency, and layers.
In his poem “People,” Yevgeny Yevtushenko laments generalization when he says, “No people are uninteresting/Their fate is like the chronicle of planets.” Why not take it a step further? Every seascape, seedling, and centipede is particular; and yet, how can you find the shared humanity in your dramatic writing? By the end of this workshop, you will have the beginnings of a dramatic piece that emerges from the body through action.
Ages 14 & up
Partial scholarships available by request to email@example.com
Surel’s Place is accessible by wheelchair. Please contact us for any additional accommodations.
Milia Ayache is a Beirut-based actor and writer. She originated the role of Molly in The Birth of Paper, an online/offline show linking the cities of Beirut and Pittsburgh through the mail, as well as The Performer in Angelmakers: Songs for Female Serial Killers, both plays produced by Real/Time Interventions.
Her latest piece of writing "Splits/kin" was published in The New England Review. “Vocal Hygiene for the Revolution” was published in Contemporary Theatre Review in 2020. Her article “Playing for Time in Beirut” on making theatre in public spaces was published in American Theater Magazine in 2017.
She recorded the entirety of Etel Adnan’s The Arab Apocalypse for the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Hamburg. Favorite credits include Frog and Nadezda in Masrah Ensemble’s production of Derek Walcott’s Ti-Jean and His Brothers and Biljana Srbljanović’s Family Stories; Hermia in Walden Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Miles in the world premiere of Futurity: A Musical at the ART Institute at Harvard. In 2022, Ayache was in residence at Hedgebrook.
As an educator at the American University of Beirut and as a volunteer both at a senior citizen university program and in Syrian/Palestinian refugee camps, she championed voices from the margins- including migrant workers, refugees, women, seniors, and youths of different sexual orientations. She helped design and run Youthful Cities, a writing residency between Beirut and Coventry for writers under the age of 25; sat on the panel for the Mastercard scholarship, edited (and still edits!) drama for the Beirut literary journal Rusted Radishes, and produced plays for disenfranchised drama students at the university. Her mission has continued even while as a visiting assistant professor at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. In joining the community at Surel’s Place, she wants to offer her time, mentorship, connections, and advice on digital security/open source technology...if anyone wants it.