Au Brana Residency 2012

A workshop led by OBRA, Kasia Zaremba - Byrne and Jonathan Grieve
11 July 2012 to 31 July 2012
Au Brana Centre, Southern France
Through the month of July Au Brana proposes an intensive investigation of theatre craft

Through the month of July Au Brana proposes an intensive investigation of theatre craft led by the members of OBRA theatre Co. in association with two innovative and experienced theatre makers, Jonathan Grieve and Kasia Zaremba-Byrne.

Guided by highly regarded international practitioners, this work session offers an opportunity for artists to be propelled by an ensemble whilst enriching their individual creative practice in an environment created to support artistic endeavor.

These weeks are directed at performance practitioners with an interest in theatre training and devising. The springboard for the generation of material will be the concept of “metamorphosis”. This stimulus will provide the framework for the three diverse approaches represented by the practitioners, with each week’s exploration being guided from a different viewpoint. Each participant is asked to source a short piece of text in response to the theme and will be guided through individual work as part of an original creative ensemble. The month will culminate in a public sharing. A disposition for a full physical engagement is advised.


OBRA will introduce participants to its training approach, in order to establish a common theatrical language that embraces psychophysical techniques to increase individual performer sensitivity. The company will work with the participants on the embodiment of language and the activation of the imagination in relation to their texts.

OBRA Theatre Co has developed an approach to actor training that advocates rigour, simplicity, openness and complicité with partners and the audience. OBRA focus on exercises, games and structures that allow the performer to become physically, vocally and imaginatively more articulate.

The company’s work combines technical craftsmanship with psychophysical practice and heightened language. OBRA seek an embodied performance state; the interaction of intellect, instinct and imagination in the performer, to facilitate a revelation of meaning.


JONATHAN GRIEVE will lead an open physical training structure called the MCT (mutuality, contact, trust), a flowing series of exercises drawn from a wide number of sources including Grotowski and Martial arts, dance and adapted theatre games. It leads, in a flow, toward exploration and improvisation along the themes, ideas, impulses and desires generated by the performers. This will be alongside detailed work on physical scores and physical action combined with Live Art style work based on the exercises of Guillermo Gomez-Pena aimed at the development of personas/characters that explore the performers feelings, ideas and reactions to specific social, political and ideological themes. Straddling the line between freedom and the abyss and between control and disorder, this approach involves utter commitment, faith in oneself and a personal approach to discipline.


KASIA ZAREMBA-BYRNE works with the ensemble as the foundation for exploration, proposing an approach focussed on spontaneity, sensitivity on stage and playfulness. The work leads the participants to discover how to be one’s self on stage, how to be vulnerable as well as confident and to have fun. Kasia draws on the Feldenkrais method of increasing awareness in the body in order to give the performer greater freedom on stage and develop their spontaneity and clown. Her sessions will involve rhythm work, games and improvisations all in relation to the ensemble. Kasia will lead the group through these improvisations to discover the complicity required to devise a performance and how to work with the material created.


The residency will culminate with a second session with the OBRA company, drawing together the material from the preceding weeks of work, and re-exploring the theme in relation to the ensemble.


The residency is limited to 15 participants, all of whom will live and work on-site at Au Brana, a formerly ruined farm now transformed into a tranquil and focussed creative environment.


The fee for the workshop is €750.00 with an early bird discount price of €700 if  you book and confirm your place with a deposit before the 15th February.

Places are limited and a deposit of €200 is required to reserve a place before 30th April 2011. Participants will be considered based on the completion of the application form and are required to pay 50% of the total cost before arrival. Only applications for the full residency will be considered.

Full board accommodation is available at the centre for the entire period for €22 per night. Travel to the centre is not included in the price. For further information and reservations please contact Kate at

Please see for more information about the centre.


Posted by: