Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Moment Work Workshop

Moment Work Workshop
Elizabeth Harvey

During the first weekend of the new school year I attended a Moment Work workshop with my fellow graduate students led by Leigh Fondakowski from the Tectonic Theater Project.

Moment work is about letting the space you are in tell you a story. Instead of creating a moment on paper and then working up by adding actors, lights, sets, direction, etc. one lets the space they are in create the moment. There are no words on the page but the possibilities are endless.

The process begins simply. Someone stands up and says, “I begin,” completes an action, and finishes by saying, “I end.” Everyone in attendance was able to create such a moment. Actions from exercise to straightening out one's clothes to just laying on the floor were created. We continued to create similar moments throughout the workshop but the space became the character and our moments were created around that. As it turns out, doors, railings, and curtains are pretty interesting characters, and there were some truly honest and humorous moments created once we let the architecture tell the story. 

We  finished out the workshop in small groups creating moments with light. When light and architectural elements were combined the possibilities for moments to create seemed limitless. Though moments with light were brief, the stories that were created, or at least that I perceived, were complex and intriguing. 

We had begun the day by talking about moments in theater that were special to each of us. In reflecting, what stands out to me is how different each person's moment was. Theater really is a series of moments and you never know which one will stay with somebody for a lifetime. 

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