Speech of Fire

Theatre Company

스피치 오브 파이어

​극단

Contact Us:  speechoffire@gmail.com 

Current Location: Seoul, South Korea

©2019 by Speech of Fire. Proudly created with Wix.com

This class consists of activities performed simultaneously by the class in partners, groups, or as individuals.
 
individually (everyone at the same time), in partners, or in groups. This class consists of exploration, not rehearsal or performance; different groups/pairs/individuals will be doing each exercise simultaneouly/at the same time.

This class consists of activities performed individually (everyone at the same time), in partners, or in groups. This class consists of exploration, not rehearsal or performance; different groups/pairs/individuals will be doing each exercise simultaneouly/at the same time.

 

you'll be in the safety of the group

Class time will begin with a vocal warmup and mainly consist of rehearsal, during which the instructors will direct one person or group at a time, as in a normal rehearsal, with the rest of the group learning by observing the rehearsal. We normally expect to get to each person's piece every week. The amount of time spent on each piece each week will depend on the number of participants and the demands of each piece.

We first met as actors in SSC's first full production, Macbeth, in 2011, in which we were cast as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and from there became regular SSC actors and board members. When Lauren became SSC's Artistic Director and producer in late 2014, and particularly when Michael began directing, the company went through a dramatic change. Beginning with Much Ado About Nothing, we sought to create a new style for our company: taking our inspiration from Shakespeare’s Globe in London, we began to prioritize continuous action, energetic pacing, minimal sets, vibrant interplay between actors, effective use of music (including live music when possible), full costume construction (based on whatever historical period the play suggested to us), simple props, an attunedness to the language of Shakespeare and an openness to being pulled in the direction shown to us by the text in rehearsals, attention to the text as the center of the play and mining the text for its possibilities, and creating a feeling of ensemble. Rather than focusing on preconceived messages or ideas that we wanted to convey through a play, we focused on letting each play speak to and through us (discovering meaning in the rehearsal process, and letting audiences glean multiple meanings in performance), and giving actors the freedom to follow their instincts. We also prioritized the development of actor training methods, nurturing talented people with a variety of levels of experience and insisting on a degree of excellence to satisfy both actors and audiences. 

 

An early draft (including some different versions of saying the same thing, taken from Lear Indiegogo and Lauren's personal page (unpublished part of it).

 

Our Work As Seoul Shakespeare Company (SSC)

 

From 2015 to 2019, we were the two-person producing, directing, designing, and sometimes acting team behind Seoul Shakespeare Company, with Lauren Ash-Morgan serving as Artistic Director and producer and Michael Downey as regular stage director.

We began as actors in SSC's first full production, Macbeth, in 2011, in which we were cast as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and from there became regular SSC actors and board members. When Lauren became Artistic Director in late 2014, and particularly when Michael began directing, the company went through a dramatic change; beginning with Much Ado About Nothing, we took inspiration from the aesthetics, techniques, and pragmatism of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, including energetic pacing, continuous action without blackouts, minimal sets and props, effective use of music, attention to the text as the center of the play and mining the text for its possibilities, and creating a feeling of ensemble. We also prioritized the development of actor training methods, of nurturing talented people with a variety of levels of experience, and insisting on a degree of excellence to satisfy both actors and audiences.

Lauren also began handling set design, sound design, and musical composition/arrangement/direction, starting with Much Ado, in addition to her role as costume designer, finding it easier to create a coherent, pragmatic, streamlined vision this way than with a team of separate designers. This also allowed the designs to develop in tandem with the creation of the show in rehearsals, so that the costumes, set, and sound could be designed to match the performances of the actors. When the theatre community found itself without a lighting designer for King Lear, she added lighting design to this list as well.

Taking our inspiration from the Globe, we sought to create a new style for our company, one of continuous action, minimal sets, vibrant interplay between actors, live music when possible, fully constructed costumes (based on whatever historical period the play suggested to us), simple props, an attunedness to the language of Shakespeare, and an openness to being pulled in the direction shown to us by the text in rehearsals. Rather than focusing on preconceived messages or ideas that we wanted to convey through a play, we focused on letting each play speak to and through us, and on giving actors the freedom to follow their instincts.

This is the kind of theatre that excites us, and over time we developed an ensemble of actors who came back from year to year, continuing to hone their instincts, their ability with text, and their ensemble work, while welcoming new actors each year. Because of Korea's visa regulations, we would never be allowed to pay the people involved in our shows, so we were by necessity an all-volunteer organization, while maintaining high artistic standards--not just for our own satisfaction but also to keep actors and audience members returning for more. We also made every effort to give our actors high-quality photos and video of each production, and make sure to keep the work at a high level of quality so that when some of our company members make the leap to seeking out a professional career outside Korea, they are well-prepared and have evidence of the quality of their work in our productions. 

 

During this time, we have been learning all aspects of running a small, high-quality, DIY-style theatre company, so that when we eventually leave Korea, we will have the knowledge to be able to set up and run this type of company in a new location. We are enjoying some time away from this kind of work--it often felt like we were doing the impossible--but we know that we are capable of handling it and have created streamlined ways to make it work with just the two of us at the helm.

 

We hope someday to again be able to provide opportunities for talented people to do what we all are so driven to do--to create great performances, to connect to the audiences in our communities, to foster through performances and workshops true human connections in an increasingly digital and isolating age, and to elevate that great thing which makes us human--the flourishing of ideas through the creation of art.

Take a look at the shows we created--with the help of our brilliant casts, crews, audiences, and donors--below. Some time in the future, when we've settled in a stable location, we would love to do full-scale Shakespeare productions again.

Shakespeare, Theatre, and Arts Education:

Impact of Shakespeare in education,

Shakespeare Teaching Resources,

Arts and the Economy

Educational impact of theatre, dance, music 

Resources for Actors

Play Texts​,

Shakespeare theatre productions online​​,

A few favorite resources on acting,

​​Developing knowledge of Shakespeare

Longest version of slideshow for Garage:

An introduction to Korean traditional dance and singing techniques, from an instructor who has utilized both in acting preparation. This class will be taught using techniques of typical group Korean traditional dance and pansori classes, but with an eye toward applications for actors. 

Both sessions are appropriate for beginners as well as for those who took this class last year or were in the King Lear cast. Session 1 will be geared more toward people new to these techniques (and to those who have done them before but need a refresher). If we retain a continuing core group from Session 1 into Session 2, Session 2 will be a faster-paced session, building off of the skills learned in Session 1, although beginners are still very welcome. 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Lauren Ash-Morgan recently directed and produced Seoul Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear and is the outgoing Artistic Director of SSC, serving as Artistic Director in 2014-2019 and actor/board member since 2011. While Artistic Director of SSC, she also served as the company's producer, costume/set designer, composer/music director, and text coach. She is now Founding Co-Artistic Director of the new company Speech of Fire, focusing on teaching acting classes and producing small-scale theatre productions that can travel and tour.  that have the ability to travel.

At Seoul Shakespeare Company, Lauren has been helping to train actors through workshops and rehearsal techniques since 2016, together with husband Michael Downey (longtime SSC actor/board member and SSC's regular stage director in 2016-2018). In the last year, Lauren and Michael have been incorporating additional techniques learned in Prague Shakespeare Company's Summer Shakespeare Intensive, where they studied with a variety of master teachers in Shakespeare, voice, movement and ensemble work, clown, original practices, original pronunciation, audition technique, First Folio, rhetoric, character development, etc. For Seoul Shakespeare Company, Lauren has previously taught the classes “Movement and Ensemble Work,” “Acting Shakespeare’s Text,” “Exploring Gugak in Theatre Training,” “Preparing to Perform: Strategies for Approaching Shakespeare's Text,”  and many “Shakesperiments” workshops.

Lauren's acting credits include Prague Shakespeare Company's The Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by Ben Crystal at the Estates Theatre (Silvia/Ensemble); Seoul Shakespeare Company’s The Merchant of Venice (Portia), Garage  (Susan), The Winter’s Tale (Paulina/Time), Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice), Titus Andronicus (Tamora), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Hamlet (Gertrude), The Tempest (Alonsa), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), Shakespeare's Love and Despair (Lady Macbeth, Trinculo, Gertrude, Tamora, Desdemona) and Shakespeare's Gore and Madness (Portia, Queen Margaret, Gertrude), as well as Probationary Theatre Company’s Popcorn (Farrah), Betrayal (Emma), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Martha),  Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Richard III (Queen Elizabeth) at the National Theater of Korea, and the independent feature film Amiss.  She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Voice) from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology, specializing in Korean traditional music and dance. She has studied/performed pansori, Korean traditional dance, and gayageum, in various capacities, since 2005, and has long incorporated Korean traditional vocal and dance training into her development as an actor.

while also creating microcommunities within it

 

 

 

 

that theatre brings people together

 

can be the center of a community (that theatre creates microcommunities,)

 

both creates microcommunities and

 

To create great performances, to connect to the audiences in our communities, to foster through performances and workshops true human connections in an increasingly digital and isolating age, and to elevate that great thing which makes us human--the flourishing of ideas through the creation of art.

 

 

Excellence in text and artistry

Attention to the text as the center of the play and mining the text for its possibilities

The "bottomlessness" of Shakespeare, the endless discoveries to be made with this material, makes it rewarding as a long-term exploration.

Self-development through theatre:

Fosters connection and eye contact

Develops interpersonal skills, spatial skills, emotional and social intelligence

Develops calm, anti-anxiety

Bringing people together as participants through classes/workshops, and as spectators.

Used until replaced with narrower version. This version wasn't fully visible on phones:

Shakespeare Academy

Autumn Acting Classes

Co-hosted by Speech of Fire

and Seoul Shakespeare Company

MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON!

Acting Shakespeare's Text
Saturdays, 2:00-3:50pm
Gugak: Movement & Voice​
Wednesdays, 7:00-8:50pm
Rehearsing Shakespearean Monologues & Scenes​
Saturdays, 4:00-6:50pm
Movement & Ensemble 
Saturdays, 12:00-1:50pm

Used until replaced with posters:

P6273605 (1).jpg

Photo by Liam Mitchinson.

Probably just include the general note on the main page:
We are hoping to continue this class from month to month throughout the year (with some breaks for vacations), with a different focus each month. We have enough material for roughly 6 months of different material each month, which we can cycle through every 6 months. Participants will get the most comprehensive effect by attending every month, but anyone is welcome to join us for a month here and a month there. 
We will gauge interest in this class during these autumn sessions. If you are unable to attend this autumn, but would like us to offer these classes again in other seasons, please drop us a quick email at ______ so we know the interest is there.

Participants will be able to choose whether they wish to focus on their monologues or move on to scenes. Each participant will be able to choose either a monologue or a scene to work on, and we will add on scene partners as needed from within the class, giving each person 

I wrote these for 2019 in paragraph form. Decided to use Step form instead

 

Directions from Hyehwa Station (혜화역) (Line 4):

Come out of Exit 4 and turn left immediately. Continue on that pedestrian street (for about 3 minutes) until you get to the main, muli-lane road. 

Cross the main, multi-lane road, toward the Olleh store, and continue walking straight, onto the tree-lined side street (between the Olleh store on your left and the Daiso on your right). Walk for about 2 minutes until you reach the T World store on the left-hand side of the street. (You'll also see a Pizza School on the right-hand side of the street.)

Turn left at the T World store. You'll be able to see the yellow and blue Studio SK sign from there. Follow the sign to the theater. 

(Total walking time from the subway station: 8-10 minutes at a leisurely pace) 

 

Video directions from Hyehwa Station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqb5z3-Wx58 WILL UPDATE

 

Alternative directions, from Hyehwa Rotary:

If you are coming from Hyehwa Rotary, take the road between the NY English Studio (on the left) and the Paris Baguette (on the right). Walk for about 4 minutes, passing McDonald's and then Daiso. Just after the Daiso, continue straight across the crosswalk (toward the Olleh store), and turn right at the Olleh store, onto the tree-lined side street. Follow that street for about 2 minutes until you reach the T World store on the left-hand side of the street. (You'll also see a Pizza School on the right-hand side of the street.)

Turn left at the T World store. You'll be able to see the yellow and blue Studio SK sign from there. Follow the sign to the theater. 

(Total walking time from Hyehwa Rotary: about 8 minutes at a leisurely pace)

 

Video directions from Hyehwa Rotary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aaO3WEdrYU  WILL UPDATE

Bits taken from unpublished page of Lauren's personal website. Was thinking of using some of these ideas for SOF's About page:

 

Taking our inspiration from the Globe, Michael and I sought to create a new style for our company, one of continuous action, minimal sets, vibrant interplay between actors, live music when possible, fully constructed costumes (based on whatever historical period the play suggested to us), simple props, an attunedness to the language of Shakespeare, and an openness to being pulled in the direction shown to us by the text in rehearsals. Rather than focusing on preconceived messages or ideas that we wanted to convey through a play, we focused on letting each play speak to and through us, and on giving actors the freedom to follow their instincts.

 

This is the kind of theatre that excites us.

I hope someday to be able to provide opportunities for talented people to do what we all are so driven to do--to create great performances, to connect to the audiences in our communities, to foster through performances and workshops true human connections in an increasingly digital and isolating age, and to elevate that great thing which makes us human--the flourishing of ideas through the creation of art.

During our years leading Seoul Shakespeare Company as its producing, directing, and designing team, we have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's Globe and cultivated our own style for the company, one of continuous action without blackouts, minimal sets, vibrant interplay between actors, energetic pacing, an emphasis on music, thoughtfully designed costumes, simple props, attention to the ensemble as a whole, attunedness to the language of Shakespeare, and openness to being pulled in the direction shown to us by the text in rehearsals, mining the text for its possibilities. Rather than forcing preconceived messages or drastic directorial concepts onto our Shakespeare productions, we have focused on letting each play speak to and through us and giving actors the freedom to follow their instincts. This is the kind of theatre that excites us.

 

 

 

 

During our time leading Seoul Shakespeare Company as a producing/directing/designing duo, we took great inspiration from Shakespeare's Globe in London and developed a new style for the company, one of continuous action without blackouts, minimal sets, vibrant interplay between actors, energetic pacing, an emphasis on music, fully constructed/ carefully designed costumes (based on whatever historical period the play suggested to us), simple props, attention to the ensemble as a whole, an attunedness to the language of Shakespeare, and an openness to being pulled in the direction shown to us by the text in rehearsals. Rather than focusing on preconceived messages or ideas that we wanted to convey through a play, we focused on letting each play speak to and through us, and on giving actors the freedom to follow their instincts.This is the kind of theatre that excites us. But while our focus

During our time at Seoul Shakespeare Company, as a producing/directing/designing duo, we developed a company style that matches with our aesthetics of Shakespeare performance:

 it featured continuous action without blackouts and a minimal set (only hanging fabrics, with two stools and a bench brought on and off by the actors as part of scenes); it incorporated music and dance into the performance; and it emphasized energetic pacing, use of direct address to the audience, actor play and improvisation during rehearsals, and a focus on the ensemble as a whole. 

Excellence

Artistry

Text

Because speech conveys ideas, and ideas can change the world.

 

Committed to a belief in the importance of high-quality theatre, not just to be watched, but to be experienced through group workshops and in the connection between actor and audience in performance.

 

social and emotional intelligence

Theatre Company

"I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze..."

Theatre Company

"I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze..."

INTRODUCING
SPEECH OF FIRE

"I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze..."

--Laertes
Hamlet, Act 4 Scene 7

0

Session 2 (November 20-December 21)

Saturdays

 November 23, 30, December 14, 21 (4 weeks) (We are taking December 7th off for Seoul Shakespeare Company auditions)

12:00-1:50pm Movement and Ensemble

2:00-3:50pm Acting Shakespeare's Text: Language and Action

4:00-6:50pm Rehearsing Shakespeare Monologues and Scenes

Wednesdays

November 20, 27, December 4, 11 (4 weeks)

7:00-8:50pm Gugak Training for Actors: Movement and Singing

Theatre Company

"I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze..."

Autumn Session 1 will run October 23-November 16.

Autumn Session 2 will run November 20-December 21.

We will take a break for winter vacation and intend to return in Spring with more sessions of classes. Class times in Spring may be different from those in Autumn in order to work around rehearsals for Seoul Shakespeare Company's mainstage production.

 

Here is our roster of classes:

Movement and Ensemble (Saturday afternoons)

Acting Shakespeare's Text (Saturday afternoons)

Rehearsing Shakespeare Monologues and Scenes (Saturday afternoons)

Gugak Training for Actors: Movement and Singing (Wednesday evenings)

We believe that regular theatre classes can form centers for community gathering and personal growth. As such, these classes are designed so that students may participate throughout the year, taking a class for as many sessions as they wish, and developing micro-communities around each class. Newcomers are also welcome at each session, of course!

 

A note on how each course will handle mutliple sessions:

Movement and Ensemble class will be oriented towards beginners some months and more experienced participants in other months. People of both levels are welcome to any session, but should expect pacing appropriate to that level.

Acting Shakespeare's Text will have a new focus each month (we have enough material to cover a new topic every month for 6 months.)

Rehearsing Shakespeare's monologues and scenes will be based on the repertoire selections of the students and therefore will be different each month. 

Gugak Training for Actors: Movement and Singing will progress continuously through new material. New students are welcome to join in any session and, as in a typical gugak class, will follow with along with the experienced students on any already-learned material, while learning new material together with the already-existing students.   

This Fall, we are offering several acting courses to help actors in our community advance their skills. We plan to offer these classes throughout the year, progressing on to new material each month in each course. Participants my stay in the same course from month to month, learning new things each month or can just join for one month at a time.

an all-consuming full-time task,

in hopes that it can continue to serve the Seoul community

...we are passing the torch of Seoul Shakespeare Company to new leadership, as we begin planning a life after our time in Korea, developing careers that c

Someday, when we are settled in a permanent home, we hope to be able to once again put on full-scale productions, but for now we are focusing on a mode of theatre creation that matches this transitional phase in our lives. 

, but is open to other plays and new works as well. 

After five years of leading Seoul Shakespeare Company (and nine years acting with SSC),

While our focus as Seoul Shakespeare Company

transitioning toward careers that can sustain us in the future

Why do we do this?

We are committed to the idea

We believe that theatre, experienced in the context of performances and group classes, is important to our communities, to human connection, to counteracting the effects of the "loneliness epidemic," to teaching empathy, to developing interpersonal skills, to helping people learn to recognize and articulate complex feelings and express deep emotions, to encourage independent thought, and to find strength in realizing that one's human experiences have been shared by others. 

RSC

SEcond Circle

Habits:

Writing too many details and using overly long sentence structure. Using lots of parentheses (Shakespeare did it too!). 

GARAGE

"This here's an arena."

Saturday, October 12: 3pm

Sunday, October 13: 7pm

Saturday, October 19: 7pm

Sunday, October 20: 3pm

P6273605 (1).jpg

THE ORDERLY

"Hospitals are battlefields."

Saturday, October 12: 7pm

Sunday, October 13: 3pm

Saturday, October 19: 3pm

Sunday, October 20: 7pm 

P6273605 (1).jpg

GARAGE

"This here's an arena."

Saturday, October 12: 3pm

Sunday, October 13: 7pm

Saturday, October 19: 7pm

Sunday, October 20: 3pm

THE ORDERLY

"Hospitals are battlefields."

Saturday, October 12: 7pm

Sunday, October 13: 3pm

Saturday, October 19: 3pm

Sunday, October 20: 7pm 

잡역부

_________

10월 12일 토요일 : 오후 7시

10월 13일 일요일 : 오후 3시

10월 19일 토요일 : 오후 3시

10월 20일 일요일 : 오후 7시

차고

“여기가 곧 경기장이야.”

10월 12일 토요일 : 오후 3시

10월 13일 일요일 : 오후 7시

10월 19일 토요일 : 오후 7시

10월 20일 일요일 : 오후 3시

4-week-long sessions of Autumn acting courses.

Tuition discounts for multiple courses in the same session

Normal price for one 4-week session of 1 course is 90,000KRW

Take 2 different courses (in the same session) for 150,000KRW

Take 3 different courses (in the same session) for 200,000KRW

Take all 4 courses in the same session for 250,000KRW

Autumn 2019 Shakespeare Academy Classes

Autumn Session 1 (October 23-November 16)

Saturdays

 October 26, November 2, 9, 16 (4 weeks)

12:00-1:50pm Movement and Ensemble

2:00-3:50pm Acting Shakespeare's Text: Fundamentals

4:00-6:50pm Rehearsing Shakespeare Monologues and Scenes

Wednesdays

October 23, 30, November 6, 13 (4 weeks)

7:00-8:50pm Gugak Training for Actors: Movement and Singing

Autumn Session 2 (November 20-December 21)

Saturdays

 November 23, 30, December 14, 21 (4 weeks) (We are taking December 7th off for Seoul Shakespeare Company auditions)

12:00-1:50pm Movement and Ensemble

2:00-3:50pm Acting Shakespeare's Text: Language and Action

4:00-6:50pm Rehearsing Shakespeare Monologues and Scenes

Wednesdays

November 20, 27, December 4, 11 (4 weeks)

7:00-8:50pm Gugak Training for Actors: Movement and Singing

After premiering The Orderly  in 2006, and touring it around New Zealand, Downey’s company, The Rebel Alliance, went on to produce several acclaimed theatre pieces. 

And now, Speech of Fire and Seoul Shakespeare Company are proud/delighted to present the The Orderly once again in Seoul.

 

in its latest iteration

 

SOF newly emerging

 

SOF repertoire