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A Professional Development Intensive for Theatre Educators

July 1st - July 7th, 2022




Develop your skills and learn new devising techniques for ensemble creation. This special course for Theatre educators will explore crafting new work with all levels of actor/creators, from student to professional.


Led by writer/director and Viewpoints trained artist Gabriel Grilli, this course introduces you to “Ensemble Building Blocks” -- techniques which incorporate practices pioneered by artists such as SITI, Complicité, Robert Lepage, Frantic Assembly, and more.


These physical-theatre practices foster group imagination and play through movement, dance, writing, and improvised performance, with particular attention to presence, partnering, structure, theatricality, use of space, and creative storytelling. 



$1450 USD inclusive of all rooming and meals on campus. 


Bursaries of $500 are available for those who need support 


July 1st - July 7th, 2022



Westmont College

Santa Barbara, California

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The curriculum centers around Devising techniques including theatre games, physical explorations (Viewpoints and other space/body practices), improvised writing/acting, multidisciplinary storytelling structure, and group études.


Practices include:

  • Spacial awareness / Viewpoints

  • Partnering/Weight Sharing: Over/Under, Around/By/Through

  • Gesture / Moment work

  • The Grotowski Circle

  • Generating from existing material: songs, poems, objects, cards, images

  • Memory / Dream work

  • Group Études - themes / rules

  • Lepage’s Scores

  • Devising with props


This course includes physical training but we will make every effort to accommodate participants possessing injuries or physical limitations. Observers also welcome.


Daily Schedule

8.30 Breakfast 

9.30 - 10.45 - Morning Session 1: Physical warm ups and exercises

10.45 - 11.15 - Coffee Break

11.15 - 12.30 - Morning Session 2: Exercises continued

12.30 - Lunch

2.00 - 3.15: Afternoon Session 1: Explorations and group devising

3.15 - 3.45: Break

3.45 - 5.00: Check-in/ group discussion of the days work or rehearsal period

6.00 - Dinner

Evenings will offer optional workshops, free time or dinner out in Santa Barbara as a group.

The program culminates in a devised performance. An archive-only copy of the performance and each days work will be made available for your reference and ongoing development.

Additional takeaways include:

  • Certificate of Participation

  • Written outline of the course including contact hours

  • Lesson plan development for all ages and abilities suited to your classroom practice

  • Suggested reading list for further professional development

There will be opportunity to share best practices and lesson plan ideas with fellow theatre educators and explore how the material delivered on the course can be adapted for your classroom.


Gabriel Grilli (GG) is a writer, director, actor, and teacher, based in New York. He graduated from the BFA Acting Program at Hofstra University and holds an MFA in Directing from Penn State. GG’s practices are derived from over three decades of training and experimentation, including work developed during his 8 years as Artistic Director of his ensemble company BrickaBrack. His original works with BrickaBrack include The Memory Project, 9 Ways & Means, Lights Across the Field, On the Flip Side, The Hope Frieze, Daffodil, never fall so heavily again, Duck Duck Octopus, and Stalking Christopher Walken, which won "Best of Fringe" at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.  A teacher of acting, directing, movement, ensemble theatre, and Viewpoints, GG has headed classes and workshops at Berkeley Playhouse, Custom Made Theatre, Marin Shakespeare, NYU, The New School, School of Visual Arts, Syracuse University, Penn State, and Cambridge University.

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Westmont is a small liberal arts college nestled in the hills of Montecito in southern Santa Barbara, CA.  All accommodation and meals are included in the fees. Rooms are singles with a bathroom facility shared among 6 participants. A double room can be offered as a cost savings. We have exclusive use of all of our facilities including accommodations, studio spaces, and common rooms. Westmont has excellent dining facilities and high speed Wifi throughout campus. We ask that participants provide proof of vaccination before attending. Please click HERE for more information. 

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