Performer and choreographer Lisa Yanofsky will lead students through the creation and performance of an original scene that explores the identities of historical or literary figures. Drawing from topics the students have already studied or from works of fiction the students have already read, Lisa will guide students’ exploration of character identities using movement, dialogue, monologue, and music. Students will choose a character or historical figure and draw from their life, context, personality and actions to craft and perform as their character in a “living portrait”.
The residency begins with exercises in writing. Students will be asked to pull text from the novel, if they are playing a fictional character, or quotes from the historical figure, if they are playing a non-fiction character. From the gathered source material, students will extrapolate personality, opinions, context and emotions and use these to write from the point of view of their character. Using their writing and research as a foundation, students will work together to help each other create movement for their character. Throughout the process of creating the movement and text, Lisa will act as a director, fitting the pieces of each character’s arc together and guiding collaboration between students. Depending on student interest, the “living portraits” can be performed with music or original songs or raps that give more information on the figure.