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Staff spotlight on Brittany Gaul, Talespinner Children’s Theatre

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With classes at Talespinner Children’s Theatre (TCT) starting soon (September 14, 2013), excitement is in the air for the staff and students. Among the offerings for young people this season is a “Moving is Creating” class taught by instructor Brittany Gaul. What does this class offer young adults? Brittany has the answers!

Kate Miller: Brittany, what ages will you be teaching?
Brittany Gaul: Ages 6-10.

KM: What kinds of things will your movement class teach?
BG: In my movement class I like to teach different walks, i.e. slow, fast, straight lines, waves, etc. I also use animal references to get kids to move in different ways: I find that asking them to act like cats, or dogs drums up this new sense of play. I also like to teach how to use movement to show emotions, and how to show different elements such as Fire, Water, Wind using your body. We cover a lot of different types of movement including specific movements of specific parts of your body, and Laban Movements (floating, dabbing, gliding etc.) among others. I also use this class to teach children to share their creativity in form of movement, song and this year I hope to incorporate some original writings from the students.

KM: What kinds of movement training have you had throughout your life?
BG: I have trained with Holly Holsinger (Cleveland State University) in Grotowski technique, and Allan Byrne (Cleveland State University) in Suzuki technique. I have also had the pleasure of working with Tannis Kowalchuck, Brett Keyser and Ker Wells of The North American Cultural Laboratory in their own mixture of Grotowski, Richard Fowler of Primus Theatre, with influences from Odin Teatret. I also studied with Arthur Grothie in Laban Movement.

KM: What is the thing that surprises you most about teaching young people?
BG: I find that they are much more creative, intuitive, fearless and overall inspiring. I am always
surprised by how invested they are in their work- at times they don't show it, but when it comes down to it, they live and breathe the work we do together. I also love watching them transform. I have had some students take several classes with me and by the end of each class session, they have grown into an artist all the more.

KM: Why is movement training important for stage work and for real life?
BG: Movement training is extremely important for stage work. So often actors act from the shoulder up, sometimes they don't even seem like their character belongs in that performance world because of the way they move. Movement training is helpful off stage as well, as it helps to keep you focused, to separate the real world and the world of your play, and it has the ability to lend you a tool with which you write your character’s story. In the real world, as artists, we must create our own work. We can take a simple story or writing and turn it into a production. The movement training is a practice of play in varying degrees. Training helps to develop our skills as artists in the way of awareness and emotional expressiveness which we use every day in our life. It is a commitment to personal excellence on and off the stage.

Do you have a student aged 3-14 who could benefit from this or one of the other classes offered this season by TCT? Registration is now underway for all classes, which begin on Saturday, September 14, 2013. For a full list of classes and registration information, visit http://talespinnerchildrenstheatre.org/education/ or call 216-264-9680.

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Do you have a Cleveland Performing Arts story? Email Kate Miller at KateMillerExaminer@yahoo.com. For consideration, please introduce yourself before forwarding your release or launching your pitch.

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