I want to reiterate my thanks for being exactly what I needed. Your brain and the actors you’ve trained created the ideal incubator for this play to emerge into life. I’m enormously grateful for all those hours of discussion, conversation, and work (that isn’t work because it’s so much fun).
Talking about how the class has impacted his acting and the effect its had on his work in Portland Theater. Maybe even about the confidence it has given him to explore New York.
I found each class to be not only incredibly insightful to the individual actors performing, but to the whole class. I can’t imagine that I would have ever gotten this far in the film industry, this fast, if it had not been for the training and continued support and encouragement.
Dan Hill’s class was a great spring board into the art of improvisation. He drew on techniques I had already established as an actor and artist and worked them into developing honest scenes from scratch. He introduced me to a host of approaches that allowed these scenes to develop and deepen. He encouraged working toward honest connection and imaginative truthfulness. He makes you see greater possibilities for improvisation.
I have been drawn to the courage, originality and depth of SOWELU Dramatic’s creative process and artistic output. This is a company that is deeply committed to the discovery process, to asking questions but not necessarily finding answers, to telling stories that no one else dares to tell. I feel honored to invest in the work of such brave artists who explore with compassion the depths of the human soul while challenging the audience to go along on a dangerous ride in search of the truth. Who knows what might be revealed during such artistic explorations. By investing in SOWELU Dramatic, I feel like I am helping to finance a voyage of Discovery.
How can this happen on our watch?
The Sowelu Theater Ensemble helped shape me into the artist I am today. The wealth of experience I gained as an actor and member of the staff is invaluable. I learned to collaborate in ways that were foreign to me but now have become a part of my regular vocabulary. The two years of Meisner training cemented the foundation of my acting technique and the outreach programs offered opportunities to develop curriculum and grow as a young teacher. I loved my time as a Sowelu artist and still carry the principals of process, discovery and ensemble collaboration at the core of my work. Thank you Sowelu.
When I first took a writing class from Sowelu Artistic Director Barry Hunt I was 16. He taught me how to access my own point of view and to express in writing the way I saw the world. In acting classes I was challenged to dig deeper, to let go of my preconceived ideas, and to trust my instincts. In rehearsals and on set, I am constantly using the tools I was taught to work with my cast. Most importantly, I was taught to find collaborators and trust in them. In short, nearly every aspect of my creative process has been informed in some way by what I learned.
I had no confidence and I lacked technique. With no solid foundation to work from, the emotional chords within me remained a mystery. Barry Hunt introduced me to the Meisner Technique and through the use of repetition I was suddenly able to harness an incredible emotional life within me. At first, it was overwhelming but with practice I was able to grasp an understanding of my instrument. The Meisner technique offers a set of tools; a solid step-by-step approach for the actor to base his or her craft upon.
We are long time supporters of Sowelu Theater. Sowelu pulls us out of our Shakespeare, August Wilson, Sam Shepard comfort zone and shakes us up. Whatever the play, we know that the cast and crew will put together a professional and entertaining performance.
I support Sowelu because of the rich, intimate performances they bring to the stage. The actors and artistic leadership of Sowelu are truly devoted and passionate about their craft. I’ve personally experienced performances that have pushed me out of my comfort zone, challenged my assumptions, and have made me feel alive!
I continue to work with Sowelu because the process dives deep, every single time.
I return to work at Sowelu because I have unfinished business. Because there is a place deeper than the river of emotion on which everything exists and I can go there with Sowelu. There are things that are scary to say and Sowelu finds a way to say it. There are things that are scary to hear and Sowelu asks you to listen and react as you see fit. I can trust my impulse and except that it will take me exactly where I need to be.