FIU Theatre presented a visiting artist workshop March 30 & 31 with Karen Kolhaas for students enrolled in Theatre classes, focusing on performance.
“Actors are like lawyers. They pursue what they want with determination and some sense of control.” ~ Karen Kolhaas
Karen presented a two day, intensive Monologue and Audition Prep workshop in residence, where our students had the opportunity to refine their audition monologues. Working with a professional who has made preparing audition pieces a focus of her work was a valuable experience for all. The workshop entailed professionally preparing material, self-direction of audition material, techniques of choosing and rehearsing, presentation of self to agents, casting directors, directors, producers, and more.
Faculty member Leslie-Ann Timlik on Kolhaas and the workshop:
“She’s really the first one to come up with a legitimate way of creating a clear approach and technique for auditioning geared towards students. Her technique really allows having a clear beginning, middle and end to the process. Kolhaas is a Director in New York for famous theatre companies such as the Atlantic Theatre Company, and sees many auditions which led her to creating this technique. She is also a documentary filmmaker, in the process of making a documentary film on the playwright Tennessee Williams and presented a lecture to students about it while here. Students found her research enlightening and her process of uncovering his background intriguing. She discussed being able to incorporate technology of digital film and the importance of knowing how to film and upload themselves to send to casting agents. She was very impressed with the quality of our teaching, curriculum, and students.”
Kolhaas often invites FIU Theatre students to her Summer movement workshops in New York, many times giving the students scholarships to attend.
FIU Theatre will host one more Spring semester performance workshop this April 20 & 21 with Janice Orlandi for Acting Training. Some students have already worked with Orlandi and have said that those who don’t know her work yet are going to be energized by her approach to acting training.
Karen Kolhaas is a founding member of New York’s Atlantic Theater Company, where she recently directed the Lucille Lortel Award nominated “The Collection” and “A Kind Of Alaska” by Harold Pinter which was named a top-10 theatre production of 2010 by the New York Times, New York magazine, and the New York Daily News. Other productions for Atlantic include plays by David Mamet, Annie Baker, Keith Reddin, Shel Silverstein, Harold Pinter, and Kate Moira Ryan. She directed the award-winning “25 Questions For A Jewish Mother” by Kate Moira Ryan with Judy Gold. She has also directed at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater; Naked Angels, IRT Theatre; Ars Nova and Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York; the Menagerie Theatre in Cambridge, U.K. and the Practical Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia.
Her documentaries and short films have played at festivals in the United States and internationally. She is a senior teacher at the Atlantic Acting School, and teaches her own Monologue Workshops, Fearless Cold Reading & Audition Technique classes, and her yearly Directing Class in New York. She also guest teaches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Karen is the director/producer of The Monologue Audition Video (DVD), and author of “The Monologue Audition: A Practical Guide for Actors” (Foreword by David Mamet), “How to Choose a Monologue for Any Audition”, and “The Monologue Audition Teacher’s Manual”. More information at: monologueaudition.com