Maximizing Your Ensemble: Shoestring 101

Created by Michael Calderone

This seven-part series is designed to transform that gaggle of actors cluttering your backstage from cumbersome extras into nothing less than the very center of your production.

Instructor Michael Calderone leads this course, through games and exercises geared to maximize your ensemble for your next production. These lessons are based on the ensemble technique that he's been using for the last 30 years, called the shoestring method.

The ensemble has a responsibility to work as one, and no role is more important than another. Without each actor playing their part, the other actors cannot tell the story to the best of their abilities. So join Michael in learning more about this exciting, practical and dramatic method.

Lesson 1: Introduction 24:03 FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 1 introduces the course and the three As: actor, audience, and area.
Lesson 2: Scenic Elements 20:52 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson explores ways in which your ensemble can literally become part of the scenery rather than merely cluttering the background; using them as literal representations of physical scenery.
Lesson 3: Crowd Scenes 16:25
This lesson focused on crowd scenes and environments, and discusses a wide range of applications in a variety of productions.
Lesson 4A: Environments 29:05
Lesson 4A contains two exercises that focus on balancing the space – lateral space, meaning middle space only, and a three-dimensional space of air, floor, middle and lateral spaces.
Lesson 4B: Living Scenery 17:19
Lesson 4B focuses on turning your ensemble into a living backdrop.
Lesson 5: Abstraction 17:45
Lesson 05 completes the acronym LACE with the letter A by backtracking and creating visual abstractions.
Lesson 6: Percussion 25:49
This lesson covers the importance, responsibilities, and possibilities of a percussionist on stage.
Lesson 7: Bonus Games 22:25
This final lesson includes bonus games and exercises to strengthen your ever-growing ensemble.

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