This is what the school is ...
I.S.A.A.C – is an intensive theatre retreat that illuminates your source of professional creativity.
I.S.A.A.C – allows theatre’s three main techniques: movement, voice and acting, to be used in a variety of subjects, such as: Shakespeare; Clown; Mime; Choreography and Directing. This school provides concise body, mind and creative practices that are directly applicable tools for professional theatre.
I.S.A.A.C – is YOUR unique opportunity to change and improve the way you work in the theatre, and to create your theatre of the future.
"Three or four dabs of scarlet, a little red skullcap, and Ira Seidenstien is one of the oldest and most endearing enertainers we know, the juggler. This is sheer magic. It is the purest clowning, disciplined play on gravity in all sense of the word, a dance with independent objects that suggests the return to some Eden in which our bodies and the world were once in perfect accord. The pleasure is a healing one. We come away with a renewed sense of our own physical presence and a renewed joy in the lightness of things. It is one of the oldest theatrical pleasures we know. We are fortunate, in these deeply self-concious times, when a performer appears who can remind us of it and show it anew."
David Malouf, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Review of Ira's show Absurd Moods
What you will gain...
Regardless of your experience, Ira will guide you to find, anchor, and evolve your personal fingerprint to your creativity and your unique career opportunities.
This is who is teaching ...
Ira Hal Seidenstein has worked in over 100 theatre productions often combining work as director, playwright, actor, and choreographer. He uses skills of classical acting, dance, mime, singing, and circus and has worked with over 100 directors in Stage and Screen. Internationally he has one of the most varied careers in the world of Clown, having worked in classical theatre, circus, dance, opera, commedia dell’ arte. He has taught internationally in: Auckland, Belfast, Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo, Paris, San Francisco and Stockholm. Nationally he has taught in: Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wagga Wagga.
“Ira Seidenstein is one of the treasures of our fringe theatre” Sydney Morning Herald
This is what takes place ...
In 2011, I.S.A.A.C. will launch a short course covering Four Foundation Subjects:
Choreography & Directing
Over three months these subjects will be explored, working towards a Works-in-Progress Showing, to culminate and consolidate the study.
The daily practice of the course is three-fold:
A warm-up training; body, voice, performance and creativity
A class related to each Foundation Subject
Creativity related to each Foundation Subject: with individual coaching, supervision and direction as required.
With director, Ira Hal Seidenstein, participants learn his holistic approach towards acting and creativity - ‘The Seidenstein Method.’ He has taught, directed or performed at: NIDA, NICA WAPPA, CSU, Bell Shakespeare Company, Cirque du Soleil, Opera Australia, Queensland Ballet Company, Limbs Dance Company, San Diego Repertory Theater, Eureka Theater of San Francisco and Belvoir St Theatre, for example.
“Ira knows the demands of the profession through first-hand experience - a significant detail that makes a priceless complement to his teaching of the art and the craft. He knows what it takes in the world of acting, clown and theatre, and he tells it like it is. Or rather: he makes you question the given circumstances - you begin opening up to the possibility that perhaps "it's not what you think it is". And once you open that door... you're well on your way to entering a different space. A different mind space. I have seen people's worlds being turned upside down, inside out, in Ira's classes. He describes his work as being "deceivingly simple" - it is. I'd almost call it infuriatingly simple. If you assign yourself to this simplicity - which is exactly that: logic and devoid of mystification - the illusions fall, one after the other. Illusions about yourself, illusions about what you're doing (or not!), illusions about the world.” Caspar Schjelbred, M.A. (History of Science) La Sorbonne; Artistic Director Improfessionals of Paris
I.S.A.A.C establishes a balance between traditional theatre values and contemporary art practices.
I.S.A.A.C’s philosophy is:
All Theatre work starts from the body and from embodied practices
Respect and nurturing of the individual’s intellect (imagination and scholastic) as a priority
The body and intellect are integrated from the heart so that anything the artist does or says is true to them.
“I discovered my arms. Walking forward in The Nothing Exercise I moved my arm in a slightly inward way, which was new for me. A whole new world of possibility opened up as I was able to feel parts of myself that I had been cut off from...The beauty of the work is its utmost respect for the miracle that is the body- the body that houses a spirit and a soul. Not simply a mass of muscle moving but a charged 'temple of integrity'- a physical form animated by an inner light/ inner life. An embodied presence moving through space.” Naree Shields, B.A., Teacher of Acting, and Clown.
The School’s Method ...
The Seidenstein Method had its inception in Ira’s formative years encountering the methods of Stanislavsky, Grotowski, Lecoq and Meyerhold. Hidden within these methods he located universal principles of acting and theatre that may be more appropriate to our contemporary world.
The Seidenstein Method:
Starts with essential movements found in dance, acrobatics and martial arts
Articulates a scientific, physical and intuitive approach to acting and creativity
Pinpoints metaphysical properties dormant in ones anatomy and physiology
Reveals a template for an actor’s Daily Training adaptable to any production
Third generation Russian circus artist, mime, and clown, Ludwig Schukin, said of this work “... it’s the bible.”
The Seidenstein Method:
Allows actors to use any methods they have already studied and to adapt the method freely.
Encourages actors to find advanced movement teachers in dance, martial arts, or yoga
Re-aligns the balance of Stanislavski and Copeau traditions with eastern and modern sensibilities
Draws inspiration from artists: Kandinsky, Klee, Miro; from choreographers Graham, Chouinard, McGregor; from playwrights Beckett, Pirandello, Ionesco; and from Indigenous and ethnic performance traditions.
Assist actors to invigorate their future.
School Statement ...
I.S.A.A.C – International School of Acting AND Clown gives each actor precise, individual, physical grounding in their own truth as well the technical control to become a receptive vessel for their own inspiration.
The facts ...
I.S.A.A.C. runs from July 4 to September 30, 2011 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Classes are Monday to Friday from 9am to 2:30pm.
For bookings and information please contact I.S.A.A.C at email@example.com
More info ...
"Shakespeare" - Ira helped establish Australia's national touring Shakespeare company. His first act as a clown was a Shakespeare act in pubs. Amongst his many productions he directed Henry the Fifth, uncut, with 12 women. He created an improvised King Lear. Wrote and directed the play "A Girl's Guide to Hamlet", Directed The Tempest in Swedish. Directed Pericles with four actors sharing the lead role. Directed "A Night With Hamlet" 2010. As well as numerous other Shakespeare based projects.
"Clown" - Ira has one of the most varied experiences of clown of anyone in the world. He has portrayed over 75 clown characters in a vast array of theatrical styles and skills such as mime, dance, patter, acrobatics, contortion, juggling, music, singing, and genuine slapstick. His non-verbal clown show "A Clown's House" was performed internationally and his show "The Battler" played six seasons. His duet show "Soldier Boys" was directed by Barrie Humphries' director and toured the Australian states of NSW and Victoria, with seasons in Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre (Upstairs) and Melbourne's Anthill Theatre. His play "The Male Adored Bride" played a season at Sydney's STC for the Carnivale Festival. Ira was the first clown trained by Cirque du Soleil to do alternating roles. He played the White and Dead clowns in Corteo. Within his performance roles he did various safety harnessed aerial acts and played three instruments. Ira was also Cirque's first resident performance teacher on a touring show.
Review of "Chaplin's Eye"
"... it arrived fully fledged due to the sophisticated, mythopoeic vision of veteran clown and director, Ira Seidenstein, who beautifully choreographed the work in terms of colour and line. Seidenstein is passionate about communicating clown craft, and it showed. Traditionally, to study a craft is to study one’s own nature..... Everything becomes possible, and the descent of Charlie Chaplin (Ira Seidenstein) from the gods is just such an epiphany. This advent is a bitter-sweet return of the proletarian Everyman that Chaplin once represented in the iconography of the arts. In Seidenstein’s hands, it is uncanny. After a life time of clowning, he provides a meticulous metronome to the ensuing slapstick choreography which becomes more intricate and labyrinthine, more democratic than antagonistic, as the clown characters (who somehow maintain their individual poise and rhythm) dissolve into shamanic ‘bags of bones’ and reconstitute themselves in a continuous recycling of the death and resurrection game.” Real Time
"Mime" although Ira was a 'natural' mime since childhood he trained with Marcel Marceau's first partner, founder of the Dell'arte School and muse of Lecoq, Carlo Mazzone-Clementi. Ira has devised an authentic way to teach mime that is organic and logical. Actors will learn the cannon of basic mime illusions as well as learning mime as movement. This combination is "Mime as a Tool for Theatre".
"Choreography & Directing" - Ira created 100s of small acts, sketches, mimes, and dances. One of his key tools for teaching the art of choreography and directing is "Core Mechanics" that is a unique system of basic movement analysis that is a daily practice with hundreds of counts within ten minutes and shows the simplest, clearest mechanism for choreography and directing. Ira has worked with over 100 directors and choreographers including Sir Robert Helpmann while with Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House. Ira's longterm mentor, Harry Haythorne, MBE was Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet Company & Royal New Zealand Ballet, as well as having been Ballet Master for Leonide Massine.
Ira had the opportunity to assist and work directly with a wide range of directors who each had over 30 years experience.
He has directed a wide range of projects such as: Sweden’s national circus school end of year productions (1997, 1998); the second Swedish production of Strindberg’s hidden gem “Keys To Heaven”; the Riverina district’s Olympic Flame Ceremony including the 35-piece Kapooka Army Band; at the Sydney Opera House “Stray Daze” for the Bennelong Program, and a large variety of plays and devised theatre projects.