This April, Theatre Works is transforming into a hub for performing arts, hosting a Masterclass Series led by some of Melbourne’s most innovative artists and companies including OpticNerve Performance Group. We sat down with Artistic Director Tanya Gerstle to hear more about the unique method of ‘Pulse’ training.
How does the creative process at Optic Nerve differ from traditional theatre making?
The OpticNerve process is actor centred rather than director driven. The actors involved are verbally and physically fluid and work with a performance making sensibility. The process demands ensemble practice where collaboration is through action on the floor rather than discussion. The ensemble of actors and director explore and create the imaginative world and through line of character in the first half of rehearsal. The conventional ‘blocking’ or staging of the work, usually done in the first weeks takes place in the final week of rehearsal.
Why is Pulse training beneficial for a performer in today’s industry?
The training focuses on acquiring the fundamental skills that must be applied in any performance or industry situation: the ability to be changed, to spontaneously respond, to make choices in action, to initiate ideas, to have an embodied sense of composition and to be the creator and the creation at the same time.
Would you be able to share an important lesson you have learned as a performance maker over the years?
By waiting, watching and listening I choose to enhance what is emerging rather than impose my own ideas upon the work
What qualities excite you in new and existing artists you work with?
Their trust in process, their drive to be the best they can be, their courage to work in the extreme and their ability to surrender personal interest to the needs of the whole endeavor.
What can participants expect from the Autumn Masterclass Series with OpticNerve
To be challenged and inspired while developing performance fitness.