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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell theatre instructor to deliver workshops in Labrador City
DATE: March 30, 2009

          A partnership with the Harris Centre and the Hyron Corporation has culminated in a two-day trip to Labrador City for Grenfell theatre instructor Michael Waller.
          Mr. Waller will deliver drama sessions for children and a workshop for adults April 3-4 at the Labrador City Arts and Culture Centre. Both the sessions and the workshop will focus on the ability to improvise and will include games and exercises.
          “The ability to improvise is a primary tool for any actor,” said Mr. Waller. “One could argue that acting is essentially improvising within the structure of a play. During the course of rehearsal, the actor learns his or her lines and movements on stage. It is the actor’s job to follow these guidelines. Just as important, however, is the job of living moment to moment within the reality of the play without anticipating what comes next. It is with this in mind that the skill of improvisation becomes key.”
           The need for theatre workshops arose from a regional workshop in the area last year; the Harris Centre is partnering with the Hyron Corporation in Labrador City to make this project a success. 
            “This is exactly the reason the Harris Centre exists,” said Rob Greenwood, director of the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. “The regional workshops and other initiatives we offer throughout Newfoundland and Labrador provide people with the expertise they identify at the grassroots level.”
            The workshop will involve games and exercises that can end up being side-splittingly funny to watch and thrilling to participate in, added Mr. Waller.
            “This will not be a dry series of lectures – in improv the learning is in the doing,” he said. “Improvisation is fun.”
             Michael Waller is an award-winning director, actor and teacher. He is a faculty member of Grenfell College’s theatre department and the Banff Centre “Opera as Theatre” Department. Mr. Waller has assistant directed at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals and Edmonton and Calgary Opera. He has directed Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Ravel’s L’Enfant et Les Sortileges for the Wilfred Laurier University’s Voice and Opera Department. He holds a BFA – acting (honours) from Carnegie Mellon University and is a recipient of the Ken MacDougall Award for Most Promising Director.

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