Training Glossary

Two Year Rep Accelerated Actor Training Programme

We cover a lot in just two short years. Find out just some of the elements that make up a Fourth Monkey student’s training.

Acting

From classical to contemporary, Stanislavski to Hagen, Meisner to Chekhov, our actors in training explore a wide range of works and practitioners, to ensure their flexibility and professional malleability upon graduation. We do not believe in ‘purism’ in terms of acting technique. We choose instead to bestow upon our actors a toolkit of skills from which they can draw, to support and refine the development of their own individual process upon completion of their training. We aim to offer the most comprehensive actor training delivered by specialists in their field, whilst always being grounded in a sense of play and exploration.

Acting Technique

A practical exploration of and training in the techniques developed by Meisner, Stanislavski, Hagen and Chekhov, with the objective of creating actors who truly ‘listen’ and are free to play.

Actioning

Students learn the technique of ‘actioning’, whereby in the early stages of rehearsing a play, actors will divide up their lines into separate phrases or thoughts. They give each thought an ‘action verb’ which expresses the intention of each line. They then perform their line, expressing the chosen verb.

Classical Text

A practical and theoretical study of Elizabethan text and performance practice, with particular emphasis on the works of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Aphra Behn and Thomas Kyd. Regular sharings offer performance opportunities throughout the course.

Clown

Theatrical clown is taught to encourage individual freedom, a sense of play and ownership of the performance space, as well as to develop an actor’s relationship with the audience. The course is based on the principles of Lecoq, Gaulier and John Wright, led by a team of world-renowned practitioners and experts in their field.

Commedia dell’Arte

Students undertake an intensive residential programme in the age-old Italian practice of Commedia dell’Arte, training under the leading Commedia practitioner and mask maker in the world, Antonio Fava. The course covers the principles of mask, commedia and physical performance from this unique perspective.

Contemporary Theatre

An exploration of contemporary theatrical practice, with an emphasis on international 20th Century theatrical practitioners and playwrights. This involves multiple play projects and numerous opportunities for scene studies and sharings.

Contextual Studies

A practical and theory based programme of work exploring theatrical performance and practice.

Dance

Our dance training begins with movement from the African Diaspora, helping to connect and cultivate a greater sense of grounding and rhythm in the actor’s body. Next, the social dances of the 19th and 20th century i.e. Waltz and Merengue, specifically from an actor’s perspective, which focuses not only on the steps but on relationship and storytelling.

Devising & Creating Original Theatre

Devising forms an extensive programme of work at Fourth Monkey, focusing on the creation of original theatre – both solo and company – with expert tuition from contemporary theatre companies including Complicité, Theatre Re, Shunt and Told by an Idiot.

Ensemble

Extensive group work towards the formation of a ‘true’ ensemble company; developing trust, complicity and a cohesive working practice.

European & World Theatre Practice

These are practical sessions based on the theatrical principles and practice of world renowned practitioners including Butoh, Grotowski and Suzuki, as well as a Balinese Mask focused module.

Experimental Fringe

A unique season of ‘scratch’ student-led work, devised by our actors in training as part of their second year of training. This developmental module of work allows exploration and  collaboration between students; as writers, directors and actors. Students are supported by the structure of our own fringe season of experimental work which is presented in our studio theatre. Bursaries are awarded to selected pieces of work, as part of the graduation ceremony on completion of training.

Improvisation

Students develop their skills of improvisation in various classes, including acting, voice work and movement.

Movement

Movement is a key element in the Fourth Monkey actor training toolkit. The actor develops a core appreciation and understanding of their body and nurtures a more aware, creative and expressive physicality. The collective focus is to ensure the actor’s body is dynamic, engaged and a central component in their storytelling, driven by the principles of Lecoq, Laban and Decroux.

Mime Corporeal Dramatique

Central to our actor training ethos is the ability for our actors to be physically connected and to know how to move and own their body. We employ an extensive range of physical theatre practices, with specific focus on Lecoq and Decroux training methodologies.

Professional Preparation

We ensure our graduates conclude their training with as comprehensive an understanding and state of readiness for the industry as possible, delivered through a series of professional preparation classes.

Sessions include audition preparation, self-tape workshops, industry and agent Q&As, headshot and professional preparation modules, as well as grant writing workshops and self-employment guidance.

Public Showcase Production Seasons

Four professionally produced public and industry seasons of work including devised, classical and contemporary work, as means of showcasing each company to the industry throughout their training.

Puppetry

In association with a variety of highly regarded puppetry specialists, the company receives training in the principles and practical application of puppetry for performance.

Scene Study Work & Play Projects

Employing text based practice from the acting technique classes and working with external directors, the actors carry out detailed individual development with text and character in multiple scene studies and play projects throughout the training programme.

Sight Reading

An invaluable class, preparing the actor for audition situations and allowing the exploration of text from page to performance.

Singing

Choral singing is key to the building of our ensemble, adding a company element to the use of the voice and development of the actor’s vocal skills and range.

Stage Combat

Working with both industry professionals and practitioners in the art of Stage Combat, students will work towards BASSC Stage Combat certification in armed and unarmed combat.

Theatre Production

This module is delivered with the intention of producing the broadest-minded and most collaborative of creative professionals. With the intention of liberating entrepreneurial spirit, actors receive an insight into producing their own work and indeed forming their own company, through tuition from those who have not only done it, but who are still very much actively ‘doing it’.

TV, Radio and Showreel

Practical sessions focusing on camera work, self-taping for audition and radio, with expert tuition from leading professionals. This module of work culminates in the creation of a graduate showreel, to take forward into the industry upon completion of training.

Voice

Led by Harriet Whitbread, a leading light in the field of actor voice coaching, Harriet and her team deliver a broad and thorough vocal training. From release, breath work and voice support, resonance and articulation into text work, accents and dialects, the actor will learn to utilise and develop their primary tool in both technique and creativity. A myriad range of techniques help facilitate true integration of voice, body and acting. Harriet and her team also provide vocal support for Fourth Monkey productions.

Wellbeing & Nutrition

From diet to meditation our actors are given invaluable tools and guidance to maintain healthy bodies and minds throughout their training and into their professional careers.

Yoga

An exceptional actor training tool for alignment, strength, awareness and physical suppleness, yoga is also key in nurturing our company as an ensemble.

Acting

From classical to contemporary, Stanislavski to Hagen, Meisner to Chekhov, our actors in training explore a wide range of works and practitioners, to ensure their flexibility and professional malleability upon graduation. We do not believe in ‘purism’ in terms of acting technique. We choose instead to bestow upon our actors a toolkit of skills from which they can draw, to support and refine the development of their own individual process upon completion of their training. We aim to offer the most comprehensive actor training delivered by specialists in their field, whilst always being grounded in a sense of play and exploration.

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