MOON FOOL regularly organises workshops and residencies in its unique ACTOR - CHORUS - TEXT (ACT) Ensemble Practice. ACT is an original approach to performance practice and devising, conceived by Anna-Helena McLean. The methodology has been tried and tested over 15 years professional practice with a diversely representative cross section of participants including parent artists, LGBTQIA+ communities and multi abled artists as well as mainstream actors and theatre makers. ACT symbiotically interweaves music, movement and poetry to tell stories, while responding to and reinventing the given spatial location.
This training includes dynamic, physical and musical exercise covering:
Ensemble balance training
Physical partner listening
Chorus leading and gestures
Extended vocal techniques
Choral singing and close harmony
The Relational Actor
Rhythm and breath awareness
Dynamic speech work
Musical Dramaturgy and composition
Collaboration and devising
Crafting music theatre for production
The training is applied to an exploration of archetypes in stories from around the world, often drawing on scene extracts from classical texts including Shakespeare and the Ancient Greeks, to generate original ensemble works of theatre. ACT currently runs a Lab between East Sussex and London called 'ACT Sex' which trains weekly to generate online coaching, works-in-progress and new works exploring radical feminist texts, identity, authority, gender and interpretation and the meaning of 'embodied' practice today.
"ACT truly aims for living up to the expectations of creating a heightened reality on stage. No drama or production or a story telling medium should overlook such a process even if it is filtered or edited in later stages of productions to nuanced levels. I would suggest every actor to experience this training"
Anuj Choudhry, Actor participating in ACT India 2015
"When engaging in a physical workshop with Anna-Helena McLean, it is not only the body that is activated, but also the mind and the spirit. She is an incredible leader. Her power as a performer is both admirable and awe-inspiring, but her greatest ability is to inspire in others a stronger belief in their own abilities. I enthusiastically endorse her workshops for performers and non-performers alike".
Director of Sideway Theater and MFA student DePaul Chicago, 2015
“... The texture of your work weaves physicality and words together with a musicality that penetrates all levels of what takes place in the space... in the 10 days we had, what came out was absolutely incredible, and I deeply admire every single person I worked alongside. The combination of people, your brilliant leadership, the space, and Shakespeare’s text, really really worked for me... we were actually there for each other all throughout the piece when we performed, which is remarkable and a real treasure to take away”.
Workshop Participant 2014