IAP 2017 – Performance Making Workshop

By phewing, 2 years ago

Hosts: Director’s Fellows Madeline Sayet & Karole Armitage

Over the course of four days we will investigate how we tell stories-day to day, in our work, and more formal models of theater. Participants will be given the opportunity to create brief shareable performances pieces. These can be made of words, movement, music, silence, the possibilities are limited only by the imaginations of those in the group. What is your story? How did you end up doing the work that you do? Is there a journey that inspires you? We will investigate the role of performance and experience in the day to day and how we can build performances out of the work we do at the lab and the stories in our lives. Both individually and collectively. Performances are experiments and experiments are performances. Human beings have been telling stories for ages, what is it the story that you want to tell right now?

The movement portion of the workshop will be guided by Karole Armitage. Two half-day sessions will be structured in two parts:

1) Pure movement ideas with no story or meaning attached. I would like to start with people designing movement based on Euclidian geometry; then based on fractal geometry. They would come up with a sequence of say 10 distinct shapes in each geometry. From that point I would on work taking the geometries into the realm of time. This is where shape starts to create tension and expectations as a pattern is set into motion and thus a kind of story begins to emerge. The architecture of time captures our interest. Expectations of pattern become emotional when disrupted. This is a kind of storytelling in and of itself but has no character and no plot.

2) Use a text or a song to create movement that has an illustrational/metaphoric relationship to the text.


Day 1: 10a-4p (E14-244)

Morning: Introductions/Writing Exercises

Afternoon: Brainstorming/ Creative Prompts/ Exploratory Time

What is your story? What kinds of stories attract you?

Structural Breakdown of Performance Types

Exercises in Writing/Directing/Theatrical Design/Improvisation as a launching pad

Introduction to different modes of performance and ways of making.


Day 2: 10a-4p

Movement (1/2 Day) (E15, lower lobby)

Other Half Day – Test an Idea (E14-244)


Day 3: 10a-4p

First Half of the Day – Movement ((E15, lower lobby)

Second Half: Using the Tools of the Past Few Days – How can you tell a story you care about in an interesting and immersive way? (E14-244)


Day 4: Creating Performance (E14-244)

10a-12p: Work Time

2PM: Share


Open to the MIT Media Lab community. Max. number of participants: 15

Sign-up sheet