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COURSE E – The Alchemy of Archetypes

Tutor: Peta Lily


Peta Lily - Drama and Theatre Course for actors“…the psyche contains all the images that have ever given rise to myths…”
C.G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

This course looks at Archetypes and their gift to the actor. In order to play Malvolio, Medea or Lear’s Fool, we need to open to different parts of ourselves. At different moments we may recognise – in ourselves or in others – the Hero, the Trickster, the Mother, the Child, the Fool, the Revenging Woman, the Lover, the Crone.

Archetypes are unique yet universal expressions of humanity, recognisable in myths and folktales from all cultures, in adapted forms in theatre plays and from our own dreams. Joseph Campbell believed that the Archetypes are built into the wiring of every human being.

We will work with a variety of exercises and also with a special set of half masks based on the Archetypes. Mask work is a wonderful way to release intuitively into ways of being and into expressions of energy that can be surprising – yet at the same time deeply recognisable and strangely familiar.

We will experience some of the mythic journeys embedded within plays throughout the ages.

There will be vocal work and perhaps work with text also. This course is an opportunity to open vocal, physical and imaginative expression and to celebrate the mythic inside of us.

No previous experience of mask work or special physical or vocal skills is necessary. There will be warm-up exercises each day; to get you comfortable working with each other as a group, and to get your voice and body working together. We will sometimes work without and sometimes with the masks. Come ready to open to the pleasure of exploring.

We will approach the Archetypes and also the mask work experientially, step by step. There will be exercises, imaginative journeys and simple improvisation. You’ll learn a simple yet effective process of stepping in and stepping out again – helpful for Mask work and character work as well.

The course will help to release your confidence in widening your range of expression in general. Mythic work is useful for playing Greek tragedy – and also useful for playing comedy. We may progress to exploring short sections of text which will be provided by the tutor.

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