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Effective Performance: Improvisation and Performance Techniques for Graduate Students

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Effective Performance will not be available during Spring 2021.

The Effective Performance workshop series for graduate students is designed to introduce students to performance values, drawn from improvisational and theatrical techniques.

Guided by professional actors, participants are given the opportunity to explore in a fun and interactive setting how to engage their bodies, voices, and passions to communicate in compelling ways. The workshop will also offer an opportunity for participants to build connections with students in other programs. Working together in a spirit of collaboration and open exchange, students will work on developing skills in enhancing presence, active listening and storytelling, and responding dynamically to an audience. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and be ready to move and play.

The Graduate School and Trinity Repertory Theater host workshops each semester, after piloting the approach in 2015-16. Workshops are offered as a five-session workshop series. Students may apply to join a cohort of 12-20 students to participate in the multi-week interactive workshop led by experts from Trinity Repertory Theater or apply to participate in the one-session workshop. 

To help prepare graduate students to be effective communicators for research and teaching through interactive workshops.

1. Explore theater techniques, experimenting with play, spontaneity, and connecting to your audience.
2. Discover the story behind your research and study.
3. Develop comfort and confidence in making an engaging research statement.

Stine An, Master's student in Literary Arts, shares her experiences and what she’s learned during the workshops.Stine An, Master's student in Literary Arts, shares her experiences and what she’s learned during the workshops.

Program Coordinators: Vanessa Ryan (Brown) and Curt Columbus (Trinity Rep)
Lead Instructor: Mauro Hantman
5 Sessions (3 hours each)

  • Improvisation and Performance Values/Finding Your Story (Lead Teacher: TBD)
  • Shaping Speech (Lead Teacher: TBD)
  • Your Fullest Voice (Lead Teacher: TBD)
  • Dropping into the Body (Lead Teacher: TBD)
  • Putting it All Together: Performance (Lead Teacher: TBD)

A committee of Trinity Rep and Graduate School representatives will help select a diverse and cross-disciplinary cohort of graduate students who can benefit from the workshop.

Selection Criteria

  • Articulated commitment to expanding communication skills.
  • Potential for program to advance student's educational and professional goals.
  • Articulated need for the program to make a significant difference in developing skills.

Application Requirements
Students interested in applying to the 5-Session Workshop Series must:

  1. Be a current doctoral or master's student in good academic standing (all disciplines are eligible to apply).
  2. Complete an online application form.  

Dates for Spring 2021 TBA

For questions, please contact Kirk Robinson, Manager of Student Development, at [email protected].