The dimensions of the person we will work on during the course:
- Looking: exercises for paying attention to yourself, to the group and the space as a whole. Improvisation exercises through which you learn to look beyond a fictitious situation as though it were real (to learn that on any stage there are more factors to take into account than what you see, etc.).
- Listening: listening exercises with which you learn to look at the other person. Conditions for an encounter with another character. Teamwork. Listening to the body. Inner listening. Decision making.
- Improvisating: development of the capacity to resolve a conflict quickly and to contribute instead of criticise. Learning to go deeper into the topics that arise.
- Memory and imagination: as tools for tackling a problem. Exercises to activate your memory and to uncover tools you have already integrated into yourself because you have been through X situations. Imagination exercises to discover the treasure we have inside us and how useful it can be for offering creative solutions to personal, academic or professional situations.
- Body: like one more tool at the service of life. Body and voice exercises.
- Community dimension: this will be a group in which life is shared at very deep levels, helping the young people to come out of their shells and discover the richness of being with the rest, and getting over their fears, loneliness and blocks.
- Vocation: discover your own value to make you want to go out into the world and help to improve it, to place yourself at its service.
- Taking risks: the student must confront each exercise with what he or she is: they are their own tool, and the only thing they have to work with. The student will have the chance to take some risk and triumph over it, thus discovering dimensions of their being and breaking barriers they would not otherwise have reached.
This entire workshop in general has meant that I feel better about myself and I have a space where each week, whether in my own skin or as a character, I can feel freer, because nobody is judging people here and we are all learning together. This experience has made me very happy, which I think is by far the most important part.
I wanted to learn to use my body to express myself and discover new ways to use it. As an exchange student, I also wanted to meet new people and have a good time! I have discovered that often we only trust in words when we want to express how we feel, while there are just so many other ways to do it!
United States student
Acting is representing an emotion in a certain setting, and this setting must be reflected for the performance to be authentic. I think that I have become more receptive, and now I am aware of the needs of others earlier, with no need for them to explain this to me.
The exercises we did in class relating to the emotional bonding between a physical object and myself have been very useful to me, as I have learned to generate sensations by myself and control them. Most of the time, my mind is constantly busy, whether with school things or the social networks. These emotional bonding exercises have helped me greatly to discover the art of being present at each moment, to train my mind not to be busy and full of thoughts all the time, as well as helping me to train my concentration and control my emotions. It also helped me greatly with listening to myself.
There was an exercise in which we had to eat a biscuit in front of everybody else. The scene had to last one minute. You could do anything you liked except speak. And I remember that my scene seemed really boring and long because it was also me who was doing it, and everybody’s eyes were upon me. But in reality, seen from the outside, it was fine and wasn’t too long. I came to understand that it is OK to take your time in front of everybody else, and merely doing something slowly does not mean that your audience is going to lose interest.
UFV full-degree student
It was really relaxing and fun to have a safe space in which I could live in the moment, forget about the outside world and feel myself totally free to do anything at all.
Helena, Brazilian exchange student at UFV: "The theatre 'opens up' so you can express yourself in different ways"
The UFV theatre classes have helped me to develop skills and techniques which I never knew I had in me.
I’d never taken theatre classes before, and doing it during my exchange has been an important process. From when I arrived, I was working hard on my communication because of the change of language and because I was meeting new people. The classes have shown me new ways to express myself and communicate what I feel, and also new ways to connect with myself, which is another important point of the exchange.
In addition, speaking in public was always one of my weak points, and I feel that I improved it a lot since the theatre started: now, I feel much more confident about speaking in public. I love having had the chance to discover such a pretty universe as that of the theatre during an experience of such importance for me. My opinion is that theatre is something basic today, and it would be recommendable for everybody to take some classes, or at least the basic ones. It’s lovely the way the classes “open up“ to express themselves in different ways.