Skip to main content

Jean-Rene Toussaint/ The Alchemical Theater

Jean-Rene Toussaint/ The Alchemical Theater
View larger image

The William J. Cooper Foundation and the Department of Theater at Swarthmore College present a series of workshops and performances by internationally renown actor, director and voice teacher Jean-René Toussaint. Mr. Toussaint is the creator of a distinct school of vocal training for actors and musicians, which he has dubbed in Dutch Stemwerk, and is the founder and head of a training center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. On Wednesday, February 13th at 7 pm Mr. Toussaint will present a lecture-demonstration entitled "Stemwerk, The Voice and Artaud" in the Frear Ensemble Theater, Lang Performing Arts Center. A two-day workshop in the Stemwerk vocal technique will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17 from 10 am-12:30 pm and 2 pm-4:30 pm in Frear Ensemble Theater. Finally, Mr. Toussaint will premiere his latest one-man show, The Alchemical Theatre, on February 15 and 16 at 8 pm, also in Frear Ensemble Theatre. These performances are free and open to the public without reservations.

Jean-René Toussaint (b. 1948) is a French-born director, actor, and voice teacher. He has been professionally active in theater since 1973, and has worked with major theatrical companies and artists such as the Living Theatre, the Roy Hart Theatre, and Robert Wilson, among others. His vocal theory and technique are inspired by the work of Antonin Artaud, Jerzy Grotowski, and Roy Hart, which are all defining figures in contemporary theater and, in the cases of Grotowski and Hart, of voice technique. His unique voice work is the result of 25 years of research and development, stemming mainly from working with deaf adults and children and from extensive world travel researching the primitive voice. His particular technique is based essentially on the movement of the body, on delineating the difference between "voices to be" and "voices to do," and listening based on bodily perception. Mr. Toussaint gives more than 40 workshops and around 15 lectures and 10 master-classes each year. This will be his first visit to Philadelphia and only visit to the United States in 2008.

Location: Frear Ensemble Theatre
Dates: February 15, 2008 - February 16, 2008
Times: Saturday & Sunday, February 15 & 16, 8 pm