An international school

Overview

We welcome students from around the world. Students have already graduated from Japan and Asia, from Australia and the Asian subcontinent, from Africa and South America, from Europe and the Middle East, from Central and North America, from Russia and Eastern Europe, and of course, from the United Kingdom. We work with students from all countries and cultural backgrounds.

The School bases its work on the knowledge that physical theatre (or living theatre) exists at the intersection of the performing arts. It draws on traditions that are universal and blends techniques, styles and themes across a spectrum of theatre, movement, and gestural art. By recalling the great theatrical traditions from the tragic to the comedic, the School offers an indispensable dimension of experiential play, to discover and develop each participant's personal style. Direction, choreography, and design are employed by the students to develop their own work .Integrated with these elements are the skills necessary to put theory into practice.

The School offers a structured environment to encourage participants to reach beyond themselves to become professional theatre artists, both creators and performers. The theatre is not comfortable, so our students test themselves on a daily basis to strengthen their craft and art. The work is collaborative, and the atmosphere is supportive.

The School prepares its graduates to make the most of each professional opportunity, to continue to grow with each work experience, and to create new work. To this end we have instituted a post-graduate production year to facilitate groups of graduates to form their own companies and develop original pieces for professional performance in London and around the world.

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School History

The School was founded in 1978 in Toronto, Canada under the guidance of Director and principal instructor, Ron East. It was originally constituted as a summer programme, associated with Mr. East's theatre production company. The curriculum engendered such an enthusiastic response that in 1979 the first full-time programme was instituted.

By 1984 the School was sufficiently established to become a separate organisation, and has run successfully ever since. In 1989/90 Mr. East was invited to return to the Lecoq school in Paris to certify as an instructor of the Lecoq method.

The School has attracted students from around the world, graduating over 600 actors, dancers, writers, choreographers, directors, puppeteers and producers. Over 80% of our graduates make their living in whole or in part in the performing arts. In1999 the School was established in London, England and has quickly become recognised as one of the foremost professional physical theatre programmes in the world.

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Director

Ron East, founder, director and principal instructor, is a producer, director and playwright with thirty years in the professional theatre, film and TV. He apprenticed as an actor at the Stratford Festival of Canada, North America's foremost classical theatre, going on to three successful years with the ensemble company, and earning the prestigious Sir Tyrone Guthrie award for his work

He trained in physical theatre at the famed Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has performed across North America and in Europe. Ron operated his own production company for 20 years, has written and produced 18 original plays, as well as working with other professional companies, on several films as a choreographer and for TV as a series director.

As well as operating his own school, Ron has been on staff at universities and colleges, has taught with Canada's national dance and theatre companies, and conducted workshops internationally. His book "Moving Images" detailing his training technique is available through the School.