“Moment Work”

In September of 2017, 30 Yoh Players had the opportunity to work with Scott Barrow and Marisol Rosa-Shapiro of the Tectonic Theater Project in conjunction with the Yoh performance of The Laramie Project.

The Laramie Project tells the true story of the murder of Matthew Shepard from the perspective of people who lived and worked in the town where he was killed. Students participating in this workshop got to learn more about how the Tectonic Theater Project members used interviews with real people to collectively devise the script for the show.

Students were also able to work on creating their own moments on stage using a combination of gesture, movement, costumes, lighting, and sound. Each student who had a role in the Yoh production of The Laramie Project was able to take ideas from this workshop and apply them to their own performances.

A student performs in Yoh Theatre’s production of The Laramie Project

The Tectonic Theater website says of Moment Work, “Used to
create classic works such as The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and 33 Variations, Moment Work explores the theatrical potential of all the elements of the stage (props, sound, architecture, lights, costume, etc.) in order to create strong theatrical
and dramatic narratives. The technique is our attempt to create theatrical narratives from the ground up—in other words, to ‘write performance’ as opposed to ‘writing text.’ When we start work on a new play, we start with an idea, or a ‘hunch,’ and then we go into the rehearsal room to explore it through Moment Work. In this way, company members are encouraged to dream about the material they find compelling in a theatrical setting. Moment Work gives us the freedom to create individual, self-contained theatrical units (Moments) and then sequence these units together into theatrical phrases or sentences that will eventually become a play.”

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