The underpinnings of all we teach and practice is the Suzuki Method of Actor Training - OzFrank Theatre Film for simple and easy ways for you to learn the basics or hone your skill sets as an actor.

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The underpinnings of all we teach and practice is the Suzuki Method of Actor Training

Our Theatre Group
The underpinnings of all we teach and practice is the Suzuki Method of Actor Training.
Following is a list of the exercises that we teach to all those performers that we train:
  1. The Stomp
  2. Tenteketen (Slow Walking)
  3. Basic 1
  4. Basic 2
  5. Basic 4
  6. The Marches
  7. Walks (10 in all)
  8. Standing Statues
  9. Sitting Statues
  10. Free form sitting statues
  11. Voodoo
  12. Agiteketen
  13. Kanchinko
  14. Wop-Wop exercise
  15. Moving Statues

Voice, spoken collectively, is added as a specific, designated speech.

The Suzuki Method exercises develop the following essential skills:
  1. strength of legs and lower body
  2. powerful focus of the body’s centre
  3. awareness of feet
  4. balance
  5. physical co-ordination
  6. vocal strength and suppleness
  7. attack
  8. stillness
  9. alertness of body
  10. connectedness of voice and body
  11. connectedness throughout all physical activities
  12. connectedness to music
  13. appreciation of music
  14. awareness of fellow performers
  15. awareness of working space (landscape)
  16. improvisatory skills
  17. awareness of audience

To these essential exercises has been added the following exercises. These exercises all have their foundation in the philosophical principles and physical focus of Suzuki’s training. I have named this study the Frank/Suzuki Actor Knowhow.:

  • Tenteketen with loose, moving arms
  • ‘Something Else’ tenteketen with partners and incorporating statues and voice
  • Tenteketen with mirrors
  • Tenteketen with sticks
  • ‘Twilight Time’ Tenteketen with specialised arm and hand movements
  • Tenteketen with partners and closed eyes
  • ‘Discombobulator’ tenteketen with whole body freeforming but feet steady
  • Stomp to Australian song, ‘Stompin’ at Maroubra’
  • Stomp forward and back facing audience
  • Basic 2 with individual vocal commands
  • Basic 2 with arm positions changed on command
  • Basic 4 with freeform arm positions and speeches
  • Marches with partners and sticks
  • Marches with partners and eyes closed
  • Walks to include stops and speeches (individual and collective)
  • Walks to include moving arms
  • Walks to include stopped, changing arms
  • Walks with partners
  • Walks with partners and eyes closed
  • Voodoo on place (Standing Voodoo)
  • Voodoo in place with alphabet letters
  • Voodoo standing in circle connecting with others, looking and engaging on the stopped moment
  • Agiteketen to include ‘Kasai’, a very fast chaotic improvisation on the spot with clear focus to front throughout
  • Wop Wop exercise performed individually followed by freeform speech of own choosing.
  • Variations on tenteketen to include statue with slow turn from facing back to facing the audience
  • Speaking the lyrics of selected songs alongside the singer’s voice and within defined physical improvisation boundaries

All the above exercises may include (at any moment) vocalisation with sounds, plus the designated training speeches. As well, individual actors speak words from upcoming or current productions that are either in rehearsal or performance.

The Frank/Suzuki Actor Knowhow described above further encourages the actor’s development through:

  • A variety of structured improvisations
  • Vocal work to include speaking along with song lyrics and freeform variations
  • Vocal work to include Full, Quiet, Very Quiet, and Whisper voices
  • Sounds to accompany movement eg in Moving Statues, Voodoo, Walks
  • The speaking of texts and speeches while traversing the space in all tenteketen and variants
  • Partnered work both physical and vocal
  • Speaking directly to other performers in structured situations
  • Working with a variety of props: mirrors, sticks, teddy bears, fabric, umbrellas, brooms, specific props from upcoming productions, etc.
  • Pausing the actor and demanding stillness at any moment during the exercises
  • Creating exercises to be performed individually
  • Working with eyes closed

The amalgam of all these disciplines, when fully realised, create an actor, or group of actors, prepared for performance as follows:
They are able to:
  • Rely on their lower bodies to support their performance
  • Rely on their feet to support their performance
  • Rely on their voices to support their performance
  • Rely on their fellow actors to support their performance
  • Rely on their focussed energy to support their performance
  • Rely on their learnt skills to connect with their fellow performers and the audience
  • They are committed (individually and collectively) to:
  • The best possible outcome of all theatre work they are involved in
  • Co-operating and collaborating with their fellow performers
  • Realising the director’s vision for the work
They are prepared to:
  • Devote themselves to the realisation of all the work asked of them
They are equipped to:
  • Display all aspects of skills required, physical and vocal
They have learnt the value in:
  • Not displaying or pandering to their ego
  • Not being judgmental
  • Not speaking publicly or giving opinions concerning their own or another’s performance

To appeal to actors training in the 21st century and because music strongly stimulates the actor’s interior imagination the music chosen to accompany the training variations includes the following:

Nadine /Chuck Berry; Something Else / Eddie Cochrane; Stompin’ at Maroubra /Little Pattie; Pipeline /The Ventures; I Want to Live /Iggy Pop; Red Right Hand /Nick Cave; Twilight Time /The Platters; Simon Says / 1910 Fruit Gum Company; Bang Bang /Cher; Heaven’s Door /Bob Dylan; Sister Morphine /Mick Jagger; Good, Bad and the Ugly/ Harmonica Harry/ Morricone; Pruit Igoe /Philip Glass; Religious /Roger Reynolds; Hangin’ Five / The Delltones; King of the Surf Guitar /Dick Dale; Overture to Traviata/ Verdi; Rose Marie / Slim Whitman; Largo from Xerxes/ Handel; Enka/ Japanese singer; Train Keeps a’Comin’ /Johnny Burnett; I put a Spell on You & Frenzy /Screamin’ Jay Hawkins; Pink Room/ Badliemente;plus others.
 
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