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ACTING WORKSHOPS 
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Philosophy of Teaching Theatre

"Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no worth at all, if not perhaps, results opposite to what you expect.

"As you get used to this idea, you will start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself."                                                                                                      Thomas Merton


"In any project, consider the entire process and the steps it requires before you begin it. Otherwise you'll start off eagerly enough, but quit when it's time for the gritty work.

Say you want to become a great actor.  That's certainly a fine ambition. But first review the full sequence of events, and then go for it if you still want to. There's tremendous discipline required, a careful study, rigorous training on a schedule, regardless of your mood; you have to turn yourself over to your art as a sick man would to his doctor. And this is a matter of years, not hours or days. Then in each stage of your career you may sustain painful setbacks, eat a lot of dust, take a critic's abuse – and still never make a living.

Taken all that into account? If you have, and you still want to go for the gold, go for it. Otherwise, you'll become like a child who plays at being an actor ... aping what you've seen on the screen or stage recently – ... but absolutely nothing with your whole being... Consider the costs, and see if you're willing to pay them to gain a mastery of your art
..."                                
                                                       The Enchiridion (paraphrased)  By Epictetus


A theatrical character evolves out of the tension between text, subtext and action. Understanding the balancing act that makes up those tensions is the work of the theatre artist. We all reach for characterizations that sparkle with clarity and definition. When we do, we can say, “I’ve found the mask.” But every play requires a different kind of mask.

  • In Chekhov, it is the juxtaposition of subtext, action and words.
  • In Shakespeare, it is the organic production of the sound, pace and internal structure of language.
  • In Wilde, it is the suppression of raging emotion through wit and societal ritual.

Goals of Theatre Training
I teach a program of study based on the Stanislavski System of Actor Development.  It is an approach to acting that was essentially discovered and articulated by Stanislavski, not really invented.  He created his system by studying what great actors do to achieve authentic, dyamic and artistic results on the stage.  In my experience it offers the best foundation for understanding and mastering the art of acting.  No other technique is quite as straight forward and devoid of mystery.  It is a practical, doable, inspiring set of theories, exercises and philosophies.   I learned it from my teacher, Joan Potter, and she learned it from her teacher Lee Strasberg, who learned it from his; Richard Boleslavski, who learned it from Stanislavski himself.  The legacy of this training endures because it creates conditions in each actor that reveals the artist within.

The goals of each workshop are as follows:

    • To provide a clearly defined practical education to those desiring to make acting their profession or passionate vocation.
    • To provide an approach to acting which requires the actor to work from a place of truth and action.
    • To prepare the actor to be facile in a variety of styles and forms of theatre, including the classic, modern and contemporary repertoire.
    • To apply these skills in rehearsal and performance.

    Professional Acting Workshops
    The Professional Acting Workshops led by director Tom Fulton, are grounded in the most practical and powerful actor training concepts of the 20th century: The Stanislavski System.  They provide a clearly defined practical education to those desiring to make acting their profession or passionate vocation, providing an approach to acting which requires the actor to work from a place of truth and action.  The course of study prepares the actor to be facile in a variety of styles and forms of theatre, including the classic, modern and contemporary repertoire.  Each program is multidisciplinary and in addition to the normal course of study in acting, encompasses dance, movement, mime, stage combat, directing, theatre history, and study of film.

    The workshops have been in operation since 1975 where they began as the educational theatre arm of Center Repertory Theatre.  From there they developed into the four year actor training program at The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, which ran from 1980 to 1990 when Mr. Fulton founded The Cleveland Theatre Company.  At the Cleveland Theatre Company, the workshops evolved into the professional training initiative for the CTC.  At present, Mr Fulton teaches acting at The Fairmount Center where he serves as Executive Artistic Director

    Other Venues
    In addition to the programs in the Professional Acting Workshops, Mr. Fulton has trained actors and performers for:

    The Cleveland Play House
    The Cleveland Ballet
    Case Western Reserve University (Masters Program)
    Cleveland State University
    Tri-C Theatre Program
    Center Repertory Theatre
    Phoenix Theatre Ensemble
    Cleveland Theatre Company
    Nepenthe Artists Retreat

© Copyright Tom Fulton 2001-2008