Skip to content

Embodiment, Impulse, Time: A Physical Theatre Intensive

A Grotowski- and Six Viewpoints-based workshop for intermediate and advanced practitioners

What: This limited-enrolment week-long workshop will investigate two profound vocabularies of performance: Grotowski-based physical acting (rooted in Stephen Wangh’s Acrobatics of the Heart) and Mary Overlie’s Six Viewpoints (training in perceptual-experimental performance composition). Our approach to the work of Grotowski/Wangh and Overlie is geared specifically toward non-narrative live performance.

How: Our goal is to defamiliarize common assumptions about what live drama can do and be: to offer an opportunity to reconsider and go beyond the boundaries, limitations, and habits of our current individual artistic practices and our current cultural moment in performance-making.  

We’ll do this through physical practice, individual and group experimentation, and expanding our ideas about drama history.  We will play through radical reconfigurations of what performance has been in the past, opening up new possibilities for the future.  Over the course of the week, we will deepen and extend participants’ performance and creation practices with a focus on embodiment, impulse, perception, experimentation, and presence.

Who: We welcome performers, directors, choreographers, teachers, and scholars who have previous experience/study in a physical or impulse-driven performance discipline.  Prior experience with Grotowski or the Six Viewpoints is preferred but not required (if you’ve trained with Ara or Matt before, this is a good opportunity to reconnect to and deepen that work!).

This workshop will be co-led by performer/director/teacher Ara Glenn-Johanson and director/drama historian Matthew Sergi.

About Ara: Ara is a director-choreographer and performer.  She has worked extensively in both traditional and experimental theatre — the majority of her experience being in physical theatre, interdisciplinary works, and performance in non-traditional venues — predominantly in the US.   Ara studied these approaches directly from their creators Stephen Wangh and Mary Overlie when she did her foundational training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She has been teaching these practices in TO over the last six years at Centennial College’s Theatre Arts and Performance Program.  

About Matt: Matt studied the Six Viewpoints intensively with Mary Overlie at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts; inspired by Overlie’s resistance to modernity, he became a historian of pre-modern English drama, earning his PhD at UC Berkeley. Now an Associate Professor of English at U Toronto, Matt produces research that often takes the form of live performances of early plays.  He developed and taught an adaptation of the Six Viewpoints for reconstructed medieval performance for three years at the Bader International Study Centre’s summer program; he has since then continued advanced training with the Viewpoints Institute.


July 29 – Aug 2, 10-5pm at The Attic (1402 Queen St. E, Unit C3, Toronto).

Please apply with this short form:  No direct experience with Grotowski or The Viewpoints is required.

Early bird price $300 + HST ($339), register by June 25th

Price $350 + HST ($395.5)

Questions? Write to Ara at

Back To Top
Skip to content