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Rob Clare Leads Theatre Workshop with Backlight Group

BackLight Theatre Group, helmed by Devlin Mann and Christina Teague Mann is hard at work bringing global quality theatre work here to Jacksonville. This month they bring longtime associate, Rob Clare to lead workshops on theatre.

Published April 5, 2010 in Culture      53 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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The BackLight Theatre Group, an internationally acclaimed theatre and dance company in Jacksonville is bringing Dr. Rob Clare, formerly of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a Shakespearean and acting coach to Jacksonville April 12-14.

Topics will include: Intro to approaching Shakespeare, actioning text, physical approaches to (all) acting and demystifying the Shakespearean text....the actor that can do shakes can do anything!! Also, methods of Devised Theatre Practice will be addressed should time allow.

After his visit here, he is going to New York to work with the Actors Center.  He has recently worked on the first ever production of Shakespeare (The Tempest) by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and often works as a freelance coach with the likes of Liev Schrieber and other stars of both stage and screen.

Devlin Mann is coordinating the visit, and can be reached at devlindirector@mac.com.

About Rob Clare






Rob Clare trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD), London, and his various degrees from Oxford University include a doctorate in the practical interpretation of Shakespeare. He acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) for three years, including productions of Lear and Cyrano de Bergerace that toured to Europe and the USA. Subsequent work as an actor and/or director includes seasons with the National Theatre (as a Staff Director), The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester and Compass Theatre (UK national touring). He has taught and directed in numerous leading UK drama schools and training institutions, including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Guildhall School, Shakespeare's Globe (for Rutgers University) and CSSD, where he established the MA Classical Acting course which he also led for its first three years. As a freelance Shakespeare specialist, in recent years, he has worked regularly with the core company of the RSC, most recently doing special text and verse work on Hamlet, and at the Actors Center in New York. As a visiting director at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, he has directed Hindi productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. He is also Artistic Director of Kestrel Theatre Company and works extensively in British prisons, where his work with political prisoners in Northern Ireland was the subject of the BBC TV documentary Act of Faith. When he is not working on Shakespeare, or in prison, he likes to punish himself by competing in triathlons and climbing mountains.








53 Comments

devlinmann

April 06, 2010, 12:54:52 PM
We are thrilled to have Rob here and hope that everyone will come out and see this amazing man at work!

We will open the house (for a tiny fee)  to those who would like just come and watch.

Full pricing and location will be announced this afternoon!!

coyotejohn

April 06, 2010, 12:57:45 PM
COOL! Looking forward to the class!

stephendare

April 06, 2010, 01:04:13 PM
Devlin.

How did you manage to get Clare to come here?  Hasnt he had some pretty high profile students and projects?

devlinmann

April 06, 2010, 01:15:56 PM
Rob is my business partner on a number of projects including the BackLight Theatre Group.  We met while I was doing my masters at the Central School of Speech and Drama where he had just created the Masters in Classical acting program there.  

Rob's credentials are indeed astounding, he has worked with some of the most acclaimed actors (Judi Dench, Liev Schreiber, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rufus Sewell, Dianne Wiest, etc...) and companies (Royal Shakespeare Company, Steppenwolf, The National Theatre, The Actor's Center, etc...) all over the world.

I must say as well that one of his greatest assets is to be as effective a coach to a beginner as he is to someone with multiple oscar's or tony's.

To further and somewhat cryptically answer your question I will additionally say that Rob's visit here is part of the larger BackLight plan for Jacksonville this year...

stephendare

April 06, 2010, 01:17:56 PM
seriously?  Judy Dench?



Loved her in Shakespeare in Love, as well as in the Bond movies

What does he do with those guys?

stephendare

April 06, 2010, 01:20:26 PM
Liev Schreiber

devlinmann

April 06, 2010, 01:25:15 PM
seriously?  Judy Dench?

What does he do with those guys?

The same thing he will be doing here, exploring methods towards dynamic performance.

stephendare

April 06, 2010, 01:35:08 PM
Devlin, are the classes open to anyone?  Or do you have to be a theater person?  What if you just want to watch the process?

devlinmann

April 06, 2010, 01:41:01 PM
Anyone can join the workshop! And we hope that everyone will come out and see this amazing man at work!

We will open the house (for a tiny fee) to those who would like just come and watch.

Full pricing and location will be announced this afternoon!!

People that wish to sign up to participate should email me at devlindirector@mac.com asap

redgie

April 06, 2010, 02:03:53 PM
For the past 30 years, I've acted on most every Jacksonville stage. This event is, without question, the most exciting, personally thrilling piece of local theatre news I've ever read. Don't know what we did to deserve it. Well, actually, I do. I kiss the hem of your dressing gown, Mr. Mann! (And i never kiss a part of anyone's apparel, among other places.) Don't think it's possible to overstate what a coup this is. I hope that, in particular, anyone who refers to themselves using the word "actor" or "director" will share in my delight, and do whatever it takes to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity. We are so lucky. The Theatre Gods are smiling down on Jacksonville-- don't squander their benevolence!!

nedrecord

April 06, 2010, 02:49:18 PM
Great to see that Rob is coming out to work with you guys.  I had the chance to spend a year studying under Rob and ever since then he has stayed one of my dearest friends.

Hope your students sign up quickly, Rob's brilliant and that workshop is gonna fill up fast once word gets out.

 

SkipnStones

April 06, 2010, 03:07:33 PM
An event like this is normally associated with metropolitan centers of performing arts like LONDON, NY and MOSCOW. If you have a chance at all for your school, community theatre or just you as an aspiring actor or seasoned actor......you should attend this phenomenal experience and singularly the most important event of the year.
A WORLD CLASS EVENT.
Makes me think Jacksonville is about to become once again a vital part on the national scene for the performing arts.


lmorey

April 06, 2010, 03:44:43 PM
I am so looking forward to this - and I look forward to meeting Rob! It is so important for actors, no matter what level they are in their craft, to expand, grow and learn from a variety of actir resources! Thanks for bringing this high caliber of acting coach to Jacksonville, Devlin and Christina!

Dawn Button

April 06, 2010, 04:35:00 PM
Mr. Mann, what an amazing feat you have accomplished: Rob Clare in Jacksonville, Florida!  Mr. Clare's reputation is both impressive and amazingly stellar. What a great opportunity this is! Is there a limit to the number of participants in each class?  If so, sign me up for these classes before the rest of Jacksonville catches on!  I am so excited, I  really have no idea how I will sleep until then. 





 

TheatreTart

April 06, 2010, 05:08:37 PM
EXCITING NEWS!  Thank you Devlin for bringing him!!  I can't wait!

kikitovey

April 06, 2010, 06:32:30 PM
I am so excited about this opportunity I am turning my world upside down trying to reschedule my life to make as many classes as humanly possible!!!!!

devlinmann

April 06, 2010, 08:22:24 PM
We are proud to officially announce that the Rob Clare workshops will take place on the stage of the Florida Theatre, Jacksonville's most historic and exciting venue!

The workshops will take place April 12,13 and 14 from 7pm-9pm.

One can attend one evening or all three as they are structured in such a way as to be independant, however the fullest experience is to be had by attending all three.

General price for participants is $35, $20 for students, seniors, and military, per person per night.

The fee for observing the workshops is $5 per person per night.

Please reserve your spot by emailing devlindirector@mac.com asap as spots are going fast!!

Please visit our website:  http://thebacklighttheatregroup.org for more information.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing all of you at what I am sure will be an extraordinary event!

John Jenkins

April 06, 2010, 10:56:48 PM
Devlin and Christina are amazing.  They are bring their vision and dream to Jacksonville.  We are lucky to have them.

Opportunities like the Rob Clare Workshop and many more in dance, theatre, and film are planned for the future.  Everyone should attend: actors and non-actors.  Expand your mind and listen with your heart: Rob Clare is a teacher's teacher, besides being an actor's actor. 

This is so exciting!!!

stephendare

April 06, 2010, 11:02:08 PM
I agree!  Devlin and Christina are amazing!

devlinmann

April 07, 2010, 07:11:43 AM
My sincere and embarrassed thanks for your kind words gentlemen.

I can only attest that Christina is indeed amazing, I married up!

If you are at all impressed with what we are doing so far wait until you see what she has planned for the coming year!!

Also now that the place is official... THE FLORIDA THEATRE... please rsvp asap to reserve your spot!!

And if participation is not for you then take advantage of the $5 observer price and come see this amazing man at work!

Thank you

Devlin


devlinmann

April 07, 2010, 10:16:02 AM
This is one of my favorite pics from the workshops we did with Rob in Berlin.  It was a study abroad program and we had him for a full week.  The progress made by those students in Germany was amazing!!!

stephendare

April 07, 2010, 10:27:38 AM
lol.  How long were you guys teaching in Berlin?

devlinmann

April 07, 2010, 10:41:57 AM
The program ran three weeks, there was theatre and dance, the previous programs were in France, we intend to do another study abroad series in the very near future.

Ethylene

April 07, 2010, 11:40:36 AM
I'll be in the audience!

devlinmann

April 07, 2010, 01:05:12 PM
Rob and I plotting the attack on the Scottish play

stephendare

April 07, 2010, 01:11:31 PM
trainspotting?
the musical?

devlinmann

April 07, 2010, 01:43:51 PM
Macb... superstition does not allow me to say the name until actually working on the play...

stephendare

April 07, 2010, 01:55:35 PM
Macb... superstition does not allow me to say the name until actually working on the play...
Big Mac?  Im just not getting it, Devlin?

Whats the matter?  Cat got your tongue?

Lunican

April 07, 2010, 02:06:41 PM


I think this is the actress that Metro Jacksonville worked with in 2007 for the 48 hour film festival.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2007-aug-filmmaking-returns-to-jacksonville-for-48-hours

devlinmann

April 07, 2010, 02:13:41 PM
She may well be, she was a JU theatre student when she did the study abroad in Berlin.  All our study abroad programs are for college credit and that one was through JU.

John Jenkins

April 08, 2010, 09:20:54 AM
FINALLY the Florida Theatre is opening its ancient doors.  Let's face it, the place is not the TU Center (thank goodness because the TU center has the atmosphere of concrete).  But it has 10 times the charm and atmosphere. It's about time Florida Theatre became the theatre of Jacksonville.

With Devlin bringing Rob Clare, actors are allowed to work on the Florida Theatre stage.  How amazing can it be to stand on that stage and look out into the audience? 

This workshop is more than just for actors only.  Contrary to popular opinion, dancers and singers  (yes opera requires acting too) can also benefit from the lessons of the theatre.  What better way to learn than by attending a workshop like this. Rob Clare is not the kind of person to scare people off..the guy is upfront friendly.

AND THREE NIGHTS!!!

.....I'm just sayin

stephendare

April 08, 2010, 12:33:30 PM
John, No kidding.

And it looks like the Florida Theater is in the process of having to reinvent itself.  It would be nice to see that space turned into something that represents the heart of this city.

So much magnificence.  I can't wait to see this event unfold!

stephendare

April 08, 2010, 03:32:02 PM

stephendare

April 08, 2010, 03:33:39 PM
Rob Clare workshops will take place on the stage of the Florida Theatre, Jacksonville's most historic and exciting venue!

The workshops will take place April 12,13 and 14 from 7pm-9pm.

One can attend one evening or all three as they are structured in such a way as to be independant, however the fullest experience is to be had by attending all three.

General price for participants is $35, $20 for students, seniors, and military, per person per night.

The fee for observing the workshops is $5 per person per night.

Please reserve your spot by emailing devlindirector@mac.com asap as spots are going fast!!

Please visit our website:  http://thebacklighttheatregroup.org for more information.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing all of you at what I am sure will be an extraordinary event!

Ernest Street

April 08, 2010, 04:22:06 PM
Stephan, It has been a long standing superstition to not actually name Shakespears  "Scottish Play" inside the theatre.
Maybe Devlin's personal belief is not speaking the name at all unless he is working on the play. (the last 3 letters he left out are ETH

It is also forbidden to whistle.  In the old days of theatre, Sailors in port frequently worked as Riggers and "Flymen" on the rail bringing scenes and flats in and out...They whistled as Cues...so

Jacksonville is fortunate to have someone of Robb's caliber teaching here.

devlinmann

April 08, 2010, 06:10:14 PM
I am not one to ever put much stock in things like curses... however after having done the Scottish Play many times, and had lots of unusal things happen I chose not invite trouble:)

That said, it is quite possible that we will mount another production of The Scottish Play very, very soon...

devlinmann

April 09, 2010, 06:40:37 AM
Have to say as this event draws closer the work in the Shakespeare Lab last night was especially invigorating! Thanks to all who were there for your work I am energized and invigorated!!

On the R CLare Workshops Wed is sold out for participants, there are now only a couple of spots left for the Mon and Tues (literally 2 spots on Mon and 2 on Tues) for participants so please rsvp if you have not already.  The observer spots or open house is still available to all for only $5 and we hope that everyone will come out and pack the house to see this exciting event!

devlinmann

April 09, 2010, 07:31:19 AM
This is where Rob is headed after being here.  http://www.theactorscenter.org/ It is an amazing organization in NYC.

He is the first image you see on their flash homepage.

devlinmann

April 10, 2010, 07:51:26 AM
Nice notice in todays TU about the event.

http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/arts/2010-04-09/story/shakespeare-specialist-teach-acting-workshop-florida-theatre

I spoke with an old friend who many here may remember last night...Jan Wikstrom, I hope I spelled her name right. She is a wonderful actress that I had the joy of working with on BackLight 's Production of Romeo and Juliet. 

She is currently doing her Masters at the Academy Of Classical Acting in DC.  Rob worked with her class yesterday and will be returning to them in 3 weeks to direct them in King Lear.  Jan was raving about how inspiring and effective a teacher Rob is and when I mentioned the workshops she loved the idea of us opening the house to viewers because he is also just so entertaining to watch.

I now want to organize a road trip in a few months to see that King Lear!!!
Meanwhile, I hope to see everyone at the event, come and watch this master at work!!

http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/arts/2010-04-09/story/shakespeare-specialist-teach-acting-workshop-florida-theatre

devlinmann

April 11, 2010, 08:36:53 AM
Rob is here!!

Rested and ready and my children are making him run around like a madman!

Cannot wait for tomorrow!!

devlinmann

April 11, 2010, 09:15:14 AM
The man at work...






stephendare

April 11, 2010, 10:30:42 AM
The man at work...








Where is this class at, Devlin?

How do people sign up for the audience?  Can you just drop in on the classes this week as an observer?

devlinmann

April 11, 2010, 02:47:47 PM
The classes are tomorrow, tues, and wed on the mainstage of the Florida Theatre!

Anyone can come and watch  for $5

There will be a mic onstage so the entire house can really take in the intimate work on the stage.

Cannot express just how excited I am to be doing this!!

scottjsmith

April 11, 2010, 10:17:42 PM
That said, it is quite possible that we will mount another production of The Scottish Play very, very soon...

You...tease...!  8)

devlinmann

April 12, 2010, 07:49:51 AM
Thanks to all who came over to welcome Rob at our house yesterday.  I t was such fun to have you all with us and we feel fortunate to have such wonderful friends and family.









devlinmann

April 12, 2010, 07:53:16 AM

"Just so know, Rob, these are my favorite people, they are all completely insane but in a fun way..."


devlinmann

April 12, 2010, 07:54:55 AM


Sooo much fun!!

devlinmann

April 12, 2010, 08:43:18 AM
I hope everyone will come out tonight to the Rob Clare workshops!

The Florida Theatre 7-9pm

John Jenkins

April 12, 2010, 09:51:46 AM
Wonderful to meet so many Jacksonville theatre people at the Rob Clare reception at the home of Christina and Devlin Mann.  Great to meet Rob Clare.  Really looking forward to the workshops starting tonight at the Floridea Theatre.

stephendare

April 12, 2010, 10:04:20 AM
The reception was amazing, and it was great to see so many other people.  The delightful Ms. Featheringill, Stacy Cobb, Redgie Gutshall, Del Austin, and so many others!

kikitovey

April 14, 2010, 10:08:42 AM
The workshops have been the best training I've had the good fortune to experience in the last 11 years living in North Florida. Directors should be bringing their casts and teachers their students to catch this opportunity. We are so lucky!!! Thank you Devlin and Rob.

stephendare

April 18, 2010, 10:16:45 AM
This event was literally amazing.  There will be a detailed followup of the classes and the new opportunities which they have created for the downtown.

Pretty much the cream of the entire theatre community---from Gail Featheringill to John Allen Harret to Stacy Cobb and Dawn Button---- was at them at one point or another, and the event catalyzed people throughout the downtown, including Jim Bailey, the publisher of the Daily Record (and Mayoral Candidate).

This is exactly the kind of programming that the city, our theatre community, and our downtown needs a hell of a lot more of.

stephendare

April 18, 2010, 10:19:41 PM
from the article

Quote
The Theatre is endlessly charming.  After all it was designed to look magical:  To have flourishes and details that create a tapestry of fantasy, embroidered in motif of byzantine fancifulness.  There is a stillness inside the space that comes from slumber and empty dreams in a building that anyone attuned to these old buildings can hear. 

Lively buildings have a noise even in their silence, a soft hum of things happening under the audible level---electrical currents, doors opening and closing, and the sense that there are people talking in unseen rooms all about one. They are like living things, breathing in and out, full of life and lives that are interdependent on its whims and fancies.  The Florida Theatre is a bit like a museum on this Monday night.  There are deep places in the quiets as you move around and it feels like it might be impertinent to speak too loudly for fear of waking something from rest.
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