Animal Engine Theatre Company offers 2 free workshops with every production in either Theatre Creation or Willa Cather that is tailored to the specific needs of your community. Below you’ll find a brief description of each workshop.
“He had seen the end of an era, the sunset of the pioneer. He had come upon it when already its glory was nearly spent.”
In this workshop we lead a round table discussion on the events of the play as they relate to the themes found in Willa Cather’s works. A person’s responsibility to their family vs. their dreams, and the enduring power of childhood memory are some of the themes discussed, concluding with an exercise in which students attempt to write in the style of Willa Cather. Here’s an example of one discussion question:
-In the play, Chicken Burden says “there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes for thousands of years,” which is taken from Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? Try and make a list of the three basic human stories.
In this workshop we explore the imaginative and creative thinking techniques used to create original theatre. Participants explore pantomime, character creation, and found object theatre. The workshop culminates in the creation and performance of a short play using the above techniques. Here’s an example of one exercise:
-Only two actors create all the characters in this play with just their bodies. With a partner, agree on a location (the supermarket, the beach, the mall) and act out all the different characters that would go there. See how fast you can switch between characters!