Artemios Vogiatzis was supported by the Richard Chappell award to attend LEATSS in 2017 – he chose the individual workshops and tells up about them here:
I was very fortunate to join the summer school this year, 2017, and attend all 3 intensive workshops: Writing workshop with Janice Dunn, Realism & new Realism with Chris White, and Single Performance again with Janice Dunn.
Each of the courses was carefully designed, prepared, and delivered to our small classroom (5-6 students each) with attention to detail and a clear mindset to get everyone engaged and involved. The workshops' structure, in an abstract description, was condensed theory followed by group (or solo) exercises. What is really amazing is the fact that no matter the level of each student, it all felt like a coherent, team-work experience with an excellent atmosphere of companionship, mutual respect and sheer aspiration to learn, explore, and experiment on the material, following the firm, attentive guidance from our tutors.
During the Writing workshop, we put in practice techniques, step by step, in order to create a small part of a play, from conception to actual writing. Everyone's work was presented and commented, so that the theory parts were revealed through each individual example. As each student's story and motivation was different, the outcome was an amazing blend of ideas and inspirations throughout the workshop, with Janice orchestrating everything with confidence and keeping the interest sky high. From my perspective, I received so many answers to the topics I wanted to sort out, i.e. HOW to start putting your -marvelous- ideas into ACTUAL text. Of course I got more than that, as the content covered a very wide range of the writing process, so, effectively, I got way more than i anticipated.
I was indeed fascinated to finally attend the Realism workshop; Chris White was brilliant in explaining the basics, and then engaging us in a wonderful group exercise where we were asked to 'build' the characters and back stories out of an "unclear", open for interpretation scenario. Creativity, imagination, peer communication and feedback, application of the recent theory bits, then expert commentary from Chris... it was simply wonderful to be in this class. From my part, I was exposed to this family of techniques by Julie Fraser during my participation in 'Oh what a lovely war!" in the past, and now I got the chance to elaborate and further my studies of skills. These fundamental tools are very valuable each time a new character needs to be portrayed
The Single Performance workshop with Janice Dunn was also a very focused experience, with clear learning goals and steps set up-front. After the "crash-course" on topics that you could tell someone needs years to master, we delivered our bits of performances based on the communicated types, techniques, and styles. Once again, the diversity of each student's presentation brought so much value and influence to everyone.
Without a doubt, the Workshops offered me knowledge and motivation to further study on skills that are highly valuable for writing and performing. The most important aspect of all, is that during this week you will feel part of a welcoming, likeminded companionship with desire to learn, apply, get exposed and receive feedback, grow.
JUST APPLY FOR LEATSS!