Skip to content

Theatre Alberta workshop bringing people together

“Live theatre is an incredible space which brings people together to share in personal reflection and community building,” said Patrick Lundeen.
Ms. Edith Cavell as portrayed by Stephanie Beyko during a past production is a good example of character role. | Supplied photo

“Live theatre is an incredible space which brings people together to share in personal reflection and community building,” said Patrick Lundeen.

On April 7, the Habitat for the Arts and Theatre Alberta will present a six-hour workshop doing just that: bringing people together with a Character Building Bootcamp.

Jasper theatre troupes have presented theatre productions off and on over the years, varying between ages 7-87 and between full casts of many to post-COVID troupes of few.

It is hoped that workshops like this one, presented with the amazing support of Theatre Alberta, will spur new interest and new members for community theatre.

We know the audiences are here. Let’s grow some thespians!

Habitat: I guess it would be good to let people know exactly what a 'Character Building Bootcamp' might be!?

Patrick Lundeen: The "Character Building Bootcamp" is a crash course in the basics of acting with intention and understanding the role a character plays in a story. I will introduce various physical, vocal, and intellectual techniques and approaches to bring a character to life. By the end of the day each participant will have created and embodied their own unique new character and have written one short monologue to be presented to the group.

Habitat: You have worked with a lot of disciplines – music, film, comedy, visual arts – which lends to character building possibly being something every artist can benefit from? 

Patrick Lundeen: Absolutely! Through my workshops I focus a lot on self-discovery. It’s important to understand one's strengths, weaknesses and limitations. In fact, a workshop learning about character building can even be useful for people who don’t work in the arts at all.  Acting training gives an individual a new awareness and tools to shape their own sense of selves in the day to day. Before an actor takes on another character, they have to embrace who they are and then let themselves go in order to transform!

Habitat: Do you encourage participants to bring their own unique perspectives and experiences into the characters they create? 

Patrick Lundeen: In my workshops, I not only encourage that but insist that participants bring their own unique perspectives and experiences into the characters they create. I don't specifically focus on particular character archetypes or themes. I focus on an “inside-out” approach, rather than an “outside-in” approach, which I consider to be a more authentic approach to character building. Throughout the day’s exploration, archetypes will be mentioned and considered as the participants craft their character. It may so happen that a participant ends up building a character that falls into the “hero archetype,” or maybe the “mad villain archetype.” This workshop is more focused on exploring one’s range and learning exercises and skills to stretch our capacity. 

Habitat: Can you relate how the bootcamp can translate to real-world character building – as well as building better on-stage performances, what might participants take away from this?

Patrick Lundeen: Many people refer to theatre training or acting training as “life training.” And it’s true. Many people who trained professionally in theatre or acting recognize how the work is really about understanding and being empathetic to the human condition. How we carry our bodies, how we breath, how we speak and share sounds shapes the characters we play but also how the communities we live in perceive us in the real world.

By learning about the intricacies of character development, participants can gain a deeper understanding of the creative process for professional actors. They will also leave with more insight into techniques and strategies to authentically embody the characters they create and play. Participants will leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of the work of being an actor and performer.

We will also have a lot of fun!

Ages 15-plus can register for CHARACTER BUILDING BOOTCAMP through the Habitat for the Arts – don’t wait too long to reserve your spot!

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks