Foundations offers a student the opportunity to take a fresh and unusual look at the performance arts of speech and drama. 

Foundations is a part-time training in the Performing Arts, focussing on the arts of acting and speech. 
The programme is ideal for anyone already working within the Performing Arts as well as those with a professional interest in creativity and communication including writers, dancers, singers, clowns, musicians, narrators, drama teachers, etc. 
In working with your body, voice and imagination, you will intensify your practical tools as a means of pursuing your own creative path. Participation will demand an open-minded attitude and artistic curiosity. 
Each module is designed to be an appropriate entrance to the whole. It is possible to step in at any point and time, aside from module 5, which can only be undertaken on successful completion of the previous four. 

Building on Foundations, in the Epic Year participants have the opportunity to develop their skills in the diverse field of narrative and storytelling.  

The Epic Year, the second in the part-time training, focuses on narrative texts, that is on texts created in the epic style. These are stories of all kinds and in a broad variety of forms, written down across the centuries: these are at the heart of this second year of training. 
Stories deal with both the big and the little events of human and natural life, and ask speakers and listeners alike to engage with every aspect of the world, animate, inanimate and everything in between. So, how can we become storytellers who have insights into, knowledge of and empathy for every aspect of human life and the world? How can our words express that world? 
Telling stories well primarily asks for a vivid and varied imagination, one that has been trained: this will give speakers the ability to enter into worlds vastly different to the ones we know for ourselves. It also demands a strong grasp of the plasticity of sounds and syllables, of the foundations of any language, to be able to sculpt the images into words and sentences. They can thus acquire both substance and form, and become the immediate expression of the world itself. 

Aims of the year 

The whole year aims to give participants an experience of the deep breadth and the broad depth of the world of story and story-telling, and of all its different facets. At the end of the year, participants will be able to differentiate between different styles and forms of stories, and apply the appropriate techniques when preparing to tell any story. 
In the following years, participants will have the opportunity to deepen their story-telling skills. 


The basic tools for movement and acting training developed by Michael Chekhov to strengthen the nascent artist within, and the speech exercises given by Rudolf and Marie Steiner, to make conscious and then shape the whole of the performer’s speech instrument, make up approximately half of the work of each module and are practised daily. 

Individual Modules 

Each module introduces new exercises in movement and speech as well as a new aspect of the epic style of performance. 
The individual tuition and practice between modules aims to deepen and strengthen participants’ grasp of the material newly introduced. 

Module 1 - The Greeks 

This module addresses the origins of storytelling, focussing on the monumental events in the stories of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, in translation both in the verse form of hexameters and in prose; it also includes Greek myths and legends and Aesop’s fables. 
Subsidiary subject: singing and music 
A selection of suggested background material: 
Homer - The Iliad 
Homer - The Odyssey 
Aesop - Fables 
Robert Graves - The Greek Myths 
Virgil - The Aeniad 
Between Modules 1 - 2 
Individual tuition: 4/30 hrs 

Module 2 - Folk & Fairy Tales 

Other forms of stories, again from the beginnings of the oral tradition of story-telling, are examined in the second module. The European fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers in Germany are at its heart; fairy and folk tales from other cultures, such as the Celtic tradition, are also explored. 
Subsidiary subject: sculpture 
A Selection of Suggested Background Material 
The Grimm Brothers - Folk and Fairy Tales 
Ella Young - Celtic Wonder Tales 
Alexander Afanasyev - Russian Fairy Tales 
Sioned Davies - The Mabinogian 
Roger Lancelyn Green - Arthurian Legends 
Hans Christian Anderson - Fairy Tales 
Rudolf Meyer - The Wisdom of Fairy Tales 
Between Modules 2-3 
Individual tuition: 4/30 

Module 3 - Dramatising Stories 

The work of the third module focuses on embodying the language, the images and the characters central to a single story, so that the original words of the story become the foundation for and lead to the creation of a dramatic performance. 
Subsidiary subjects: gymnastics 
A Selection of Suggested Background Material 
Michael Chekhov On the Technique of Acting 
Paul Sills Story Theater 
Doug Stevenson Story Theater Method 
Between Modules 3-4 
Individual tuition: 10/30 hrs 

Module 4 - Ballads and Epic Poetry 

Continuing the work of the first two modules, epic poetry and ballads and the poetic forms and metrical structures they employ become the subject of study. 
Subsidiary subject: eurythmy; poetics 
A selection of suggested background material: 
Thomas Percy - Reliques of Ancient English Poetry 
Geoffrey Grigson (ed.) The Penguin Book of Ballads 
Arthur Quiller-Couch (ed.)The Oxford Book of Ballads 
H.W. Longfellow - Hiawatha / Evangeline 
Charles Kingsley - Andromeda 
Alfred, Lord Tennyson - The Idylls of the King 
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Fall of Arthur / Beowulf 
Coleridge - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 
Between Module 4-5 
Individual tuition: 12/30 hrs 

Module 5 - Performance 

As in the first year, the final module is devoted to creating a performance from the material that has been explored and brought to a certain maturity for presentation in the course of the year, both in the five modules and then in individual tuition. 
Subsidiary subject: singing and music 

Subsidiary Subjects 

Those subjects introduced in the first year - music and singing, eurythmy, sculpture and gymnastics – continue. The new field of poetics has been included in the repertoire. Each module includes one subsidiary subject, which by its nature is close to the content of the module. 
Individual Tuition 
The individual tuition now takes place with one of several teachers (please see faculty page) at regular intervals between the modules. This tuition gives participants the opportunity to become more familiar with the work begun in the modules, both on speech exercises and on the different stories. 
Participants are required to take initiative themselves to contact the tutor to set up times for individual tuition. 
Individual Practice 
Participants are asked to commit to practising movement and speech, exercises and texts, between 30 and 60 minutes per day, five days per week, independent of any tuition. 
Anthroposophical Study 
Regular study both of the background to the practical work in the field of speech and drama - this includes understanding the nature and constitution of the human being - has now become a core element in the training programme. Participants are asked to include this in their individual work outside the modules. 
From the second year onwards, participants are given the opportunity to work towards acquiring a Goetheanum diploma. One of the criteria for being awarded such a diploma is that students demonstrate that they have regularly given time to anthroposophical study, both individually and in a group. 
The initial material for study is Anthroposophy: A Fragment, by Rudolf Steiner, written in 1910. It is published by Steiner Books in 1996. 
Whenever possible and whenever appropriate, each of the modules includes a visit to a performance on one of the evenings. The intention is to attend performances that have some kind of connection with the content of the relevant module; this can help in the development of each performer’s individual aesthetics, an important aspect of any training in the performing arts. 
Please note: the contents of The Epic Year are subject to alteration! 


Accommodation with self-catering facilities is available at the Peredur Centre fot The Arts, East Grinstead, East Sussex. 

Cost and Application 

The cost of the course is £2650 
A pre-requisite of this course is successful completion of year one
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