July 2011: Physical Theatre Workshops with Ker Wells

Nakai Theatre, with assistance from Open Pit, organised two workshops taught by guest instructor Ker Wells. Here is information about the first workshop, An Introduction to Physical Theatre:

    Date: July 12th - July 14th
    Location: Yukon Arts Centre Studio Theatre
    Total in-studio hours:  9
    Number of participants: 11
    Age range of participants:  20 - 50
The second workshop was titled The Nature of the Performed Action and was considered advanced training.  Here is more information on the second workshop:

    Date: July 19th - July 23rd
    Location:  Yukon Arts Centre Studio Theatre
    Total in-studio hours: 18
    Number of participants: 6
    Age range of participants: 24 - 30

Upon request, we offered subsidized rates for those in financial need. 

The participants of the workshops had a wide range of skill levels, therefore the training affected each of them differently. We asked that participants have previous theatre experience, but we made sure to not exclude anyone with a keen interest.

Participants who had less experience in theatre thought the workshops were interesting and very different from what they were used to.

I loved that Ker offered a type of training that I have never tried before.  Physical Theatre does not exist in the north so I am appreciative that I could learn new techniques.”

The more professional level participants, who took both workshops, found some great insight into creation using Physical Theatre. A post mortem was held on the final day and participants remarked how they benefited from getting to see Ker Wells’ creative process. It was also noted how this work could be directly applied to the creation of a new play. There was also benefit in the training as an actor. Participants learned about creative impulses and how to access them. Ker Wells’ training made impulses seem tangible and, if not understood, more accessible.

“Physical Theatre is a new concept to me and as yet, I have not grasped it’s essence; however, I have no doubt that it would be a valuable tool for me to add a richer element to the development of characters in the future.”

These workshops also had an impact on the trainer, Ker Wells. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in our city and even took part in a public reading of Catherine Frid’s Homegrown. He has committed to returning this winter for Nakai Theatre’s Pivot festival. There were also informal discussions about further partnerships and opportunities in the north. We believe that having this calibre of talent interested in working in Yukon is an exciting development for the theatre industry.

“It was immediately apparent that Ker Wells brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to the workshop.  I highly respected the quality of the responses he provided to any participants questions as well as his instinctive awareness of what is needed to overcome any blocks that a participant is struggling with.”