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Spring Acting Classes Postponed 
Out of respect for societal efforts to minimize person-to-person contact, and due to the uncertainty of many people’s schedules, workloads, finances, etc. during this time of coronavirus countermeasures, we are postponing our spring acting classes until things become more normal. We hope to bring them back in the summer or autumn.
In the meantime, check out what we had planned below. We hope to get to this same material later in the year. 

Speech of Fire's

Shakespeare Studio

Spring 2020 Acting Classes

Spring Session 1: April 5-26 (Postponed until further notice)

Spring Session 2: May 17-June 7 (Postponed until further notice)


Photos by Robert Michael Evans

Spring Session 1: April 5-26 (Postponed until further notice)

Spring Session 2: May 17-June 7 (Postponed until further notice)

Tuition fee per 4-week session: 90,000KRW 
(See discounts on our main Shakespeare Studio page)
Course Objectives:
-develop an extensive toolkit for approaching Shakespeare’s text,
-open up to new and interesting acting choices, guided by the language

Shakespeare embeds lots of keys and clues in his text to help the actor give performances that are complex, innovative, exciting, naturalistic, and action-driven. In this class we will explore key ways to bring out the richness of Shakespeare's writing, in a visceral way, in order to reveal exciting possibilities in interpreting character, communicating clearly to the audience, getting at the meanings and intentions of a passage of text, and exploring language as moment-to-moment action. As with all things in acting, the aim is not to find one correct answer, but to find out new, inspiring possibilities for the text.

Based on the work of David and Rebecca Clark Carey, combined with Lauren and Michael's experience acting, directing, and teaching Shakespeare, this class explores monologues specifically selected for each week's topic, utilizing physical techniques specifically tailored to each monologue to bring out the text’s most salient features, with an eye toward how the discoveries made in these monologues can be applied to other texts.

We have a cycle of about five months' worth of material from the Careys (see the full list here), which we hope to get through over the course of the year. In our most recent Autumn 2019 session, we began this cycle of material with the topic "Language as Action"--characters using language to accomplish something. We looked first at characters using language to persuade, and then shifted to characters using language pursuasively while also negotiating between complicated objectives. You do not need to have attended previous sessions of this class to join us this Spring. Newcomers are welcome!
In our Spring 2020 Session 1, we will begin by continuing with the theme "Language as Action," this time exploring soliloquies in which characters use language to work through complex problems and make moment-to-moment discoveries. We will then switch to a new focus: characters using language to paint descriptive images, with a focus on language as active, as accomplishing something and having focus and purpose. 
In Spring 2020 Session 2, we will continue to explore descriptive monologues, this time focusing on characters using language to tell stories--again using language actively and with purpose. We will then shift to a new focus: a visceral exploration of rhythm and meter, starting with Shakespeare's early use of regular meter in his earlier works, and then shifting to more innovative uses of rhythm and meter in his middle works, exploring how Shakespeare conveys important and naturalistic acting clues through innovations with this form.   
This class consists of sequences of exploratory exercises carried out in partners, groups, or individually, usually by everyone in the class at the same time. While the aim of each sequence is to progress from initial encounter with the text, to exploratory exercises, to something approaching acting, this class is an exploration, not a rehearsal or performance.

Below is an approximate outline of topics and monologues used in this class.

***We may not get through all of these monologues and themes. This is only to give a general idea of the material***:

Language and Action: Solving Problems



(The Two Gentlemen of Verona)

-Love and Honor

-Good Angel/Bad Angel

-Object Lesson



(Twelfth Night)

-Putting Together the Pieces

-Question Time






-Good or Bad

-Pushing Through

-Stepping Stones




Language in Action: Imagery, Sound and Story


Exploration: Mark Antony




1. Picture Painting



(Henry V)

-Physicalizing the image

-Specifying the image

-Showing the image



(A Midsummer Night's Dream)



-Crossing the line

-Putting it all together


2. Ear Catching


Lady Macbeth


-Repeating Sounds

-Words in Action



(A Midsummer Night's Dream)

-Couplets and Triangles

-Tap the Balloon

3. Storytelling



(Romeo and Juliet)

-Proceed with caution

-See what I see

-Team spirit



(Henry IV, Part One)


-I said, he said

-Carry the bag





Chapter 3: Rhythm and Meter

Exploration: Mark Antony




1. Finding the Rhythm



(The Two Gentlemen of Verona)

-Expanding and contracting


-The Tipping Point



(Richard III)

-Expanding and contracting

-Six feet

-Tracking trochees

-Feminine endings

-The final word



(The Taming of the Shrew)



2. Mastering the Rhythm 


(The Merchant of Venice)

-Rockier Rhythms

-The Tipping Point



Portia and Lucius

(Julius Caesar)

-Sharing lines


For anyone who took our class "Preparing to Perform: Mining Shakespeare’s Text" in 2016, this material will have some overlap, but will go more in depth into this season's specific areas, including monologues that we did not cover in 2016.
(Location, how to register, discounts for multiple classes, etc.)

Spring Session 1 starts here. ->

Spring Session 2 will start around here (wherever Session 1 leaves off). -> 

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


Lauren Ash-Morgan and Michael Downey are the Founding Co-Artistic Directors of Speech of Fire and have been training actors through workshops and rehearsal techniques since late 2015, first as the heads of Seoul Shakespeare Company (SSC), and now as Speech of Fire. They served as SSC's stage directors and text coaches in 2016-2019 and have periodically taught workshops to the public, including “Movement and Ensemble Work” (2018, 2019), “Acting Shakespeare’s Text” (2018, 2019), "Rehearsing Shakespearean Monologues & Scenes​​​” (2019), “Exploring Gugak in Theatre Training” (2018), "Gugak: Movement and Voice" (2019), and “Preparing to Perform: Strategies for Approaching Shakespeare's Text” (2016). They have also coached many actors in SSC's “Shakesperiments” workshops, which Lauren first created in 2014. Over time they have incorporated techniques learned in Prague Shakespeare Company's Summer Shakespeare Intensive, the Shakespeare Theatre Association's annual conferences, personal study and research, and rehearsal processes for the shows they have directed and coached. 

Lauren Ash-Morgan recently directed The Orderly and played Susan in Garage, co-produced in rep by Seoul Shakespeare Company and Speech of Fire this past autumn. Last year she directed, designed, and produced Seoul Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear, and she is the former Artistic Director of SSC, serving as SSC’s Artistic Director, producer, and costume designer in 2014-2019 and actor/board member since 2011. 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/Bohemian), 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); 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 also directed the 2013 Seoul run of The Orderly and the short play Best Interests for Seoul Players' 10-Minute Play festival, and served as movement/ensemble coach for SSC's King Lear and the 10-minute play Trumpus Rex. 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, and has studied and performed pansori, Korean traditional dance, and gayageum, in various capacities, since 2005, often using these techniques in theatre performance. Lauren is now Founding Co-Artistic Director of Speech of Fire.

Michael Downey played the title role in Seoul Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear last year and recently directed Garage and performed his solo play, The Orderly, co-produced in rep by Seoul Shakespeare Company and Speech of Fire. He served as Seoul Shakespeare Company’s regular stage director in 2016-2018, directing The Merchant of VeniceGarageThe Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing, and also wrote and directed the short play Trumpus Rex last year for Seoul Players’ 10-Minute Play Festival. Other directing credits include A Circular Play by Gertrude Stein and New Year’s Eve by Dave MacGregor. He first joined SSC as a leading actor in 2010, appearing in Macbeth (Macbeth), The Tempest (Prospero), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Peter Quince), Titus Andronicus (Titus Andronicus), and Shakespeare's Love and Despair (Macbeth, Claudius, Titus Andronicus). In 2018 he appeared as Octavius Caesar and the Soothsayer in Prague Shakespeare Company's Julius Caesar at the Estates Theatre in Prague. Other acting credits in Seoul include Betrayal (Jerry), The Importance of Being Earnest (Algernon), The Real Inspector Hound (Magnus), and Eurasia Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Richard III (Clarence) at the National Theater of Korea. Michael trained as an actor at the Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts and holds an M.A. in Drama Studies from the University of Auckland. In New Zealand, his theatre credits include CoriolanusOedipus the King, and Attempts on Her Life. Onscreen, he has appeared in Power RangersShortland Street, and Xena: Warrior Princess. He co-founded The Rebel Alliance Theatre Company in 2006, their debut production being his solo play The Orderly, which toured New Zealand, was adapted for radio by Radio New Zealand, was revived in Seoul in 2013 and 2019, and is now in Speech of Fire's performance repertoire. In 2007, his play Aroha won the SmackBang PlayRight award and enjoyed a two-week season at the Herald Theatre. Michael is now Founding Co-Artistic Director of Speech of Fire.

“The good things in life do not come only through the senses. Some of the most exhilarating experiences we undergo are generated inside the mind, triggered by information that challenges our ability to think, rather than from the use of sensory skills.” 


― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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