In The Viewpoints Book, first published in the United States, acclaimed theatre directors Anne Bogart and Tina Landau introduce the history, terminology and philosophy of Viewpoints, and offer a step-by-step recipe for using it as both a training tool and a rehearsal technique.
Viewpoints is a technique of improvisation that grew out of the post-modern dance world, allowing actors to learn to function spontaneously and intuitively. It was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie, whose ideas have been expanded and developed by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau, adapting them for the use of actors.
Over the last twenty years, Viewpoints has ignited the imaginations of actors, directors, designers, choreographers, dramaturgs and writers. It is taught all over the world and used by countless theatre-makers in the rehearsal process to develop flexibility, articulation and strength in movement, and to enrich ensemble playing.
An invaluable resource for theatre-makers, as well as for anyone with an interest in collaboration and the creative process, whether in art, business or daily life.
‘Viewpoints is timeless – a system belonging to the natural principles of movement, time and space. It is a philosophy translated into a technique for training performers, building ensemble, and creating movement for the stage.’ Anne Bogart and Tina Landau
PREFACE by the authors
CHAPTER 1: A History of Viewpoints and Composition
CHAPTER 2: Viewpoints and Composition: What Are They?
CHAPTER 3: Viewpoints and Composition in Contemporary Theater
CHAPTER 4: How to Begin?
CHAPTER 5: Introducing the Individual Viewpoints
CHAPTER 6: Putting the Individual Viewpoints Together
CHAPTER 7: Group Improvisations
CHAPTER 8: Working with Music
CHAPTER 9: Starting to Speak
CHAPTER 10: Viewpoints in Rehearsal
CHAPTER 11: Introducing Composition
CHAPTER 12: Composition Toward Making Original Work
CHAPTER 13: Composition Toward Rehearsing a Play
CHAPTER 14: Composition as Practice and Additional Recipes
CHAPTER 15: How to Discuss Composition Work in a Group
CHAPTER 16: Composition and Related Arts
CHAPTER 17: Viewpoints in Unexpected Places
AFTERWORD Working with SITI Company
By Anne Bogart
Working with the Steppenwolf Ensemble, or An Old Dog Learning New Tricks
By Tina Landau
'an extremely good book that offers a lot to anyone seeking to create an exciting new unit for their drama curriculum or add more focus to rehearsals'
'the first comprehensive manual for training actors in the Viewpoints system... this isn't just a book of exercises; there is a clearly defined, suggested pattern of training to introduce the principles of Viewpoints and gradually build up the knowledge and skills of the methods it uses... very thorough and clear'
Anne Bogart is the Artistic Director of SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki, and runs the Graduate Directing Program at Columbia University, New York.
Tina Landau is a freelance director and writer and member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago.