Workshops & Training

WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITY:

The Heads Up ‘Hood’

Heads Up Productions has devised a workshop to teach participants about discrimination and prejudice firsthand.  The crux of the workshop is an hour-long role play where Students are divided into groups where, unbeknownst to them, the group is assigned a minority/majority social status (i.e. Caucasian, African-American, LGBT, Women, etc.).  These groups, in no way, are designed to reflect the students’ actual minority/majority status.  Each group is given a limited set of resources (based on their status) and are given the task of building a community.  (i.e. the Caucasian group starts with the most resources, African-Americans start with less, etc.)  They are told that this is a competition to see who can build the best community. 

Heads Up Company Members act as various authority figures who treat the participants according to stereotypes based on their assigned social status.  For example, someone from the African-American group approaches the building authority with a building permit might get denied because of “improper” English on the form.  The women’s group might get denied building supplies because they don’t look strong enough to build a community.

The point of the exercise is not to actually build the city, but to help the participants internalize the impact of stereotypes and discrimination. 

Participants who have, in many cases, never been part of any underrepresented group are asked to take on such a role. The oppressiveness of the simulated activity soon becomes an emotionally frustrating experience for participants, who get very involved in the activity. The simulation serves as instrumental ground work for the discussion that follows.  

Total, the workshop runs 3 hours and can include up to 200 participants.    

This workshop is designed for participants in middle school and older.  This workshop can be held as part of a school, work or community function.  Please email info@headsupproductions.net for inquiries.  


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Heads Up Training

Heads Up Productions’ training is rooted in physical theatre techniques and ensemble building.  Heads Up workshops will provide an introduction to and foundation in The Suzuki Method of Actor Training and the Viewpoints.

The Suzuki Method was developed by Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki and develops the actor’s inner physical sensibilities, builds the will, stamina and concentration. By developing the body awareness of the corporal center, and a consistent level of energy, primary elements of the actor’s awareness are heightened. The best and most consistent evidence of this work is apparent onstage reflected through an increasingly centered and controlled actor.

Master Director Anne Bogart adapted the Viewpoints from Choreographer Mary Overlie.  The Viewpoints are ways to examine the actors’ tools of Time and Space when creating a performance.  They quickly create a common vocabulary between an ensemble.

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Here’s what one student, from a workshop at Tallmadge High School, had to say about our work:

“The Suzuki workshop was a completely different experience. As a beginner in the Suzuki Method, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t expect the amount of control and focus it took to simply crouch down for certain time intervals. I also didn’t expect the amount of physical exertion it took to do the seemingly simple exercises.

My favorite part had to be the Viewpoints. It allowed everyone to open up creatively and forced us to keep our minds and actions fresh.

Overall, I learned not to give up when failure seems to be present because whether doing Improv or Suzuki, no one, especially the audience, wants to see you give up.”

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Some photos from a recent Heads Up workshop:

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Photos by Fenna Blue

Video from a Heads Up Workshop:

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