Viewpoints and Composition

workshop with Ellen Lauren and Will Bond founding members of The SITI Company


About the workshop

During the one-week-long workshop the participants will be able to study and practice the basics of Viewpoints for three hours every morning. Training through the lens of the Viewpoints vocabulary the participating artists will find practical tools to support their physical improvisation and heighten their perception and response to the world around them in the act of creation. Through the technique we seek to find an answer for the following questions: What kind of tools can actors incorporate into their daily work? How can one anchor one’s focus and channel one’s energy? How can one sharpen one’s mind and senses to the ever-changing present onstage? We are looking to find as many questions as we find answers in the course of the week together.
The Composition course will take place during the 3 hour afternoon daily sessions. Participants will use the experience of the Viewpoints training to devise original material based on specific topics, prompts and texts. Outside rehearsal time will be required by all participants.
On the last day, July 10th, afternoon, the workshop-leaders will hold an online presentation and sharing of work with the attendance of the workshop participants. This presentation will be based on the devised material and the practices used during the workshop and it will be open and free for online audiences.

The language of the workshop is English without translation.


10h-13h (Viewpoints) and 15h-18h (Composition), 5-10 July
(including open online presentation and discussion on the 10th of July)

The Viewpoints training

Originally developed by the remarkable late artist Mary Overlie, the Viewpoints is a philosophy of improvisation that grew out of the postmodern dance and performing art world. Through deep personal research and practice, Ms. Overlie discovered what came to be understood as six essential “materials” of deconstructed theater – The Six Viewpoints. Working directly with these materials, the theater artist begins to learn ways of entering performance practice unique to their own intelligence and curiosity.  SITI Company has continued to research and practice, and adapt these notions. The language of the Viewpoints allows artists to create together spontaneously and intuitively. It fosters a sense of ensemble, as well as deepens the individual’s sensitivity while onstage. The practice of the Viewpoints develops an artist’s awareness and articulation in how to read what is being made in the process of making. It is a practice in perception and appropriate response, strengthening an artist’s emotional, intellectual, and physical flexibility.

The Composition work

Composition is the study of creating original theatre works very quickly in accordance with a set of parameters and requirements. The objective is to work with fundamental principles of collaborative theatre making and performance within a very short time-frame. It is a way of generating images and theatrical ideas and testing possible approaches to a play or concept. Each composition class centers on a theme or specific text, exploring the contemporary possibilities and historical problems of existing material. Composition is a practice in the art of devising and the creation of original work.
It is also a way of putting the Viewpoints study into immediate practice. Artists are given a chance to apply the skills and vocabulary learned in the daily training to the demands of rehearsal and theater making.


Workshop Leaders