Workshop Program (Winter 2020)

2019 - 2020 Season


Workshop Program Overview


The Workshop Centre is delighted to announce a brand new programme of week-day and long-weekend workshops, which will run alongside the school’s full-time courses in late 2019 and early 2020. All workshops will take place at the school’s base in the beautiful Eden Studios in Pankow, Berlin.

Facilitators are from the school’s core pedagogical team and we also welcome a number of close colleagues and guest facilitators. The workshops give participants an opportunity to dive deeper into different themes and forms, as well as to get to know the pedagogical approaches of the team.

Full details about the workshop program are also available to download as a PDF here.


To apply for any of our workshops, please

Workshop Calendar - Early 2020

Winter Program


07.02.20 – 08.03.20

An Introduction to the Journey - with the pedagogical team

 – an Introduction to the Journey – with Thomas Prattki, Cat Gerrard, Ariel Gutierrez, Rachel Karafistan, Kelley Soul and Patrick Soul

07 – 09 Feb 2020

Workshop price 170€

This workshop gives an insight into the pedagogical cornerstones of the international school and is particularly interesting for participants considering to apply to the full time program in Devising Theatre and Performance. It is also geared towards participants who wish to have an initial practical experience of concepts such as Embodiment, The Poetic Body, Playfulness and Devised Performance. 

For more information on the pedagogical team at, see here

Mapping the Muse, new paths into devising for performance - led by Rachel Karafistan

– for all those interested in making their own work and those who want to find out more about this aspect of the school’s pedagogy.

14 – 16 Feb 2020

Workshop Price 170€

Using imagined journeys, dreams, memories, song, words, imagined spaces and a range of exercises designed to liberate both corporeal and cerebral creative potential – this workshop offers a unique chance to explore and discover new territory for devised performance. With your creativity out in the open, we will then ask what makes a good beginning, what message is in your ending, what about the bit in the middle? The workshop will offer suggestions of how to take fragmented ideas and turn them into something whole – embracing and celebrating failures and successes equally along the way.

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Rachel is a British performer and director based in Berlin. Her PhD research at the University of Brighton focused on shamanic dimensions within contemporary theatre practice. Rachel was an actor with Teatr Biuro Podrozy and still has strong connections with Polish theatre traditions. Rachel founded COSMINO Productions in 1999 which she now runs with her partner Kuba Pierzchalski and is currently touring her solo production Dreams Die Hard based on the wartime diary of her Grandmother. Rachel is also a visiting director at the State Theatre of Salzburg for whom she has recently directed two children’s performances. She is relieved that after thirty-five years of creating theatre, it is still the greatest thrill imaginable.

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Performance Persona: Persona(l) Superhero - led by Julia Voce, assisted by Cat Gerrard

– a making and clowning laboratory. For those who have already encountered one or more of their own performance personas

17 – 21 Feb 2020


Workshop price 210€

“For she had a great variety of selves to call upon… a person may have many thousand.” – Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Is it the recognising and calling upon one (or more) of the many thousand selves, that gives us a performance persona? I believe it is. I have five performance personas that have been liberated from the shadow self; they have dwelt there because they are in some way unpalatable to me and to society and by giving them a name, clothes to wear, and a platform, they have become well-drawn performance and facilitating personas and have contributed, more than anything else, to my individuation. They have become my best friends and my super heroes. 

This week-long laboratory invites you to delve into the liminal spaces of the clown, ritual, costuming, the wisdom of the body and its inner landscape and to bring forth one of your many thousand selves into the realms of performance.

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 Julia Voce is a theatre maker, performer and teacher based in Brighton and London, UK. 

She learned clown from Thomas Prattki, Amy Russell and the incredible faculty at LISPA as well as with Angela De Castro. As Associate Artist at London Bubble Theatre Company, resident artist at Mulberry School for Girls for six years, and as part of The Knees Up she made a lot of theatre and performance with, for and about Londoners.

Then she moved to Brighton.

She wants to continue making, in the words of Duckie ‘progressive working-class entertainment’ while delving around in the shadows and the shit, for the truth.

Julia is now a Winston Churchill Fellow. Her performance and facilitating personas have been commissioned by: The V&A, British Library (with Chis Green), The Union Chapel, Emergency Exit Arts Hoxton Hall, London Borough of Hackney and Mulberry School for Girls.

Cat Gerrard is a performance-maker, director and teacher from London, based in Berlin since 2015. She trained at Drama Studio London and LISPA, where she has been part of the core teaching team since 2016.

Cat has toured Europe with solo work and with various puppetry, physical theatre and storytelling ensembles, including Theatre Témoin, Pandvani 108 and Ulua(k) Teatro. She is Artistic Director of storytelling company TailSpin, founded in 2010 to give performers space to dive into the unknown and bring back vital, dark earth.

An explorer of the in-between, Cat is constantly pushing her own craft and performance conventions, creating cross-arts hybrids that best speak to a broad audience now. Cat has long been in the thrall and service of story, as both a teller and curator. Her work, as a whole, aims to dive deep into where we human-animals are now and what stories we need for this moment. She is curious about creating a different relationship with the audience: one that is more reciprocal, gives real creative agency and is often in alternative spaces. 

Cat had her first illicit experience of clown with Julia Voce some years ago, in the offices of Cardboard Citizens in London. It’s been a rip-roaring adventure ever since. Four years ago she had the first encounter with her most recent persona, the angel, who is at the very centre of performance Somewhere, Maybe Here: a homage to home, loneliness, connection and the wonderful sensation of being happily alone.

Cat has been a teacher and facilitator, in one way or another, for a number of years, since becoming a sailing instructor at the age of 14. She has been exploring the depths and heights of voice, text and telling – as a practitioner and a teacher – since 2010, colliding her cross-arts interests with a movement towards wholing.

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Commedia all’Italiana - led by Barabao Teatro

– an exploration of what might happen when Commedia masks meet platform theatre – for performers and other practitioners experienced in mask-play, from on-stage or off.

28 February – 01 March 2020

Workshop price 170€

Barabao Teatro has its roots in Commedia dell’Arte Italiana. Through their own recent exploration of the contemporary theatrical style of the Platform, they have recognised it as a direct successor of the ancient form of the Commedia.

Commedia dell’arte isa way of making theater that was born in Italy in the sixteenth century. It has two main features: it leaves a lot of room for the actors to improvise, around very general plot indications, and stages the so-called “masks” – characters with fixed and stereotyped characteristics that wear, in fact, a mask. Many of them are linked to a specific Italian region. The name of the theatrical practice is due to the fact that, for the first time in Europe, the performers were considered true professionals in the art of acting.

Platform is a mime-related style, born in Paris in 1950 which makes great reference to cinematographic language. The goal is to capture the audience’s attention in an engaging way.

What do Commedia and Platform have in common?

Space and time are compressed, movement and gesture are strongly coded: the effect is unquestionably fun. It requires great involvement from the performer as a masked body: everything becomes a mask, and it is through the poetics of the movement that the viewer is catapulted into a world that amplifies reality. The real beyond the real.

This workshop will propose a formative journey that will lead participants to the knowledge, discovery and practice of fundamental theatrical elements such as: relationship with space; movement analysis; form, shape and use of masks; characters; rhythm, crescendo; and, most of all, the Transposition.

Starting from the study of the Commedia, these areas of exploration will offer the common thread all the way through to the constantly evolving contemporary language of the Platform.

Through this workshop we will weave Tradition with Innovation through meeting both styles. We will stimulate in the performer the desire to expand their technical patterns and find an even deeper pleasure in acting.

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Barabao Teatro (Romina Ranzato, Cristina Ranzato, Ivan Di Noia and Mirco Trevisan) is a family of theatre performers deeply rooted in popular art, founded by Mario Antonio Ranzato and Ornella Marin in 1980.

 The group has trained at: the Academy for Integrated Theatre in Rome; International School of Theatre Creation Kiklos in Padua; the International Academy for Commedia dell’Arte from Piccolo Teatro in Milan; and at LISPA.

 Since 2003 Barabao has been producing theatre performances for children and adults, offering courses and workshops and curating other arts events.  

 With skilled mask artisan and “movement poet” Matteo Destro they created mask tragicomedy Aspettando Ercole (Waiting for Hercules) in 2010, applauded at the Regional contemporary theatre Showcase and Festival SGUARDI and winner of the Jury Prize at the 21st edition of the International Theatre Festival in Lugano (Switzerland). 

 Since then they have created: theatrical thriller VII: Non Rubare (VII: Thou Shalt Not Steal); Patatrak, directed by Ted Keijser, winner of the Rosa D’Oro prize at the National Festival for Youth Theatre in Padua, 2013; youth theatre play Kong l’ottava meraviglia del mondo (Kong, the 8thwonder of the world); and interactive audio novel Bambini Invisibili (Invisible Children), directed by Matteo Destro and with music by Andrea Mazzacavallo.

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The Tuned Mover, for experienced movers - led by Valentina Bordenave

– refined physical preparation for creatives/artists interested in a somatic approach and in clarity of movement

02 – 06 March 2020

9:30 – 13:00

Workshop price 190€

Tuning our self-perception through Alexander Technique, we can deeply connect to the natural energy that spirals through our body. How do we interfere with our ability to move? Can we catch ourselves hiding behind our habits? The work provides clear information and tools to reconnect with our psychophysical entity. In this state of refined awareness, we approach movement through dance.

We’ll take risks, working hard to do less, doing less in order to have more clarity, having fun, astounding ourselves. 

Valentina has worked intensively over the course of two decades, sharing with others the joy of exploring the relationship with our physical intelligence. This workshop is an invitation to experience ourselves as an infinite source of gentle strength and powerful softness, redefining and enjoying how we relate to our fantasy, to music, to each other in the space.

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Valentina Bordenave (Rosario, Argentina – Berlin) – is a freelance dancer, choreographer and director, who graduated in dance from the Folkwang University, Germany, where she dived into the dance-theatre world of Pina Bausch. She has been working as a qualified Alexander Technique teacher since 1998.

In her more than 20 years of experience as a dancer and movement teacher, Valentina has been developing her own research with a strong focus on the body support system, spatial and energetic awareness, intense physicality and utmost sensitivity.

Besides holding workshops and training for theatre and dance companies like Sasha Waltz & Guests, she is part of the core pedagogical team at LISPA/ and teaches regularly with theatre company Familie Flöz. Other pedagogical experiences in Berlin include in the Acting Departments at Ernst Busch University and ten years at the University of Arts (UDK). 

As a performer Valentina has worked with the choreographers Mark Sieczkarek and Editta Braun, amongst others. She has created works from an early age, individually and collectively, with dancers, actors and video artists, including Familie Flöz, Uli M. Schüppel, Mikel Aristegui and Iván Marino.

In 2014 she founded the international Collective ANDERPLATZ with nine other actors and dancers, where she directs and performs.

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Embodied Memory - led by Ariel Gutierrez

– a laboratory for experienced practitioners.

13 – 15 March 2020

Workshop price 170€

“Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theatre.”

– Walter Benjamin, Berlin Childhood around 1900

Theatre can be understood as a sophisticated art-form of memorial re-articulation, but this theatrical praxis is not something fixed and pre-established, repeated and reinforced over and over again without any significant change. Every re-enactment is as well a sort of re-setting of memories and re-interpretation of past performances that combines what comes from the past and what is added from the present. The main implication of this past-present performative interaction is that it opens the possibility of challenging that which is understood about the past by opening new perspectives and reflections, thereby posing new questions.
During this module, we will explore two main questions:

How do we stage memory?  

How do we “remember performatively”?  

In a well-known essay on history and fiction, Michel de Certeau suggested that ‘fiction is the “repressed other” of historical discourse’ because historical discourse wages everything on the true, while fictional discourse is interested in the real—which it approaches by way of an effort to fill out the domain of the possible or imaginable. 

This workshop explores the relationship between the body, the notion of “memory/ies”, our sense of identity and its relationship with specific spaces/historical events. The journey will explore aspects of personal and collective memory, embodied dramaturgy and storytelling.

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Originally from Buenos Aires, Ariel has a background in international politics, literature and performing arts. He studied at the Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq. He has also participated in the seminar Jerzy Grotowski taught at College de France in 1997 and has been at the Odin Teatret, led by Eugenio Barba, on several occasions. Ariel joined LISPA/ in 2011, where he completed the Advanced Devising Practice program as well as the pedagogical training. 

An active collaborator with companies in the US, Europe and Latin America, he also holds a PhD in Modern Languages and Literatures from the University of Miami with an emphasis on Performance. His dissertation “Scenic Landscapes: The theater in the global city” explores the relationship between globalization, theatre and non-conventional performance spaces.

His most recent work includes a post-graduate seminar on the theme of Post epic dramaturgy at the University of the Arts in Stockholm where professionals from all areas of Performing Arts investigate and theorize how new political ways of performing art can look and be developed. He also collaborates with the Nordisk Theater Laboratorium in Denmark and is working on a book on “Theatre, cities and Psychogeography”.

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