Micke's teaching at the Theatrestudio


Inge Waern, Ulf Ekeram och Micke Klingvall - the leaders of the Theatrestudio

The Theatrestudio was created by Inge Waern in 1967, on encouragement from Étienne Decroux, among others, as the first and only education in physical theatre in Sweden. In 1984 Ulf Ekeram became artistic director for the Theatrestudio when it became an ”independent part” of Kulturama. Since 1996 I am artistic director. From 2007 the Theatrestudio in "put to sleep" while we are waiting for new spnsors and a new form of organisation.
The Theatrestudio have been run as a school for 40 years in a row. The first years the Theatrestudio was a trade School. Later it was run as adult education class, first under Folkuniversitetet, later under Medborgarskolan and since 1984 the Theatrestudio was under the administation of Kulturama up to the interruption 2007.

Myself I left the Theatrestudio in 1987, and I started working as a substitute there almost at once until 1993 when I became regularly employed. And 1996 I became artistic director for the Theatrestudio, and I still am. Since I took the artistic responsibility I have first of all started up the second years students international tour, wich got an grand finale, opening its last show on the main stage in front of Saint Marc's church at the carnival of Venice. I also started a forum where old and new “Studioits” have the possibility to meet and a schedueled Swedish and international guestartist acivity where famous and less famous pedagogs, directors and actors have been teaching. Under my direction the Theatrestudio have been broader giving Commedia dell'arte and comedy more room, an international course and its own, manifest organisation.

The pedagogy of the Theatrestudio is based on a number of foundations. One of these is the so called Theatrestudio training. It is built on a collection of voice and movement series, who has as a goal to stimulate the participants imaginative power and to reach the inner life of the actor; to help the actor to work in contact with his colleagues and his audience; to learn the actor to know his body as an instrument for his imagination; to encourage the actor physically in a daily training where expression and presence is the main point, in order to become free from blocks and resistance in rehearsals and on the stage.
Another of these foundations is the integrated education. The Theatrestudio work is based on the thought that ”everything is connected”. Consequently we try, as far as possible, to amalgamate the different subjects –
movement, creation of characters, textual analysis, stage presentation, acrobatics and so on – into one great subject. The exceptions are subjects like theatre history, ensemble music and voice, where we use teachers with unique competence.
In order to make the Theatrestudio feel less closed to the students and to open a window to the rest of the world of theatre we also concentrate on bringing in Swedish and international guest teachers to what we call open hours.
Another foundation is the group dynamics. The Theatrestudio works in a tradition where the group is given lots of space in performances and other appearance.

The work at the Theatrestudio is aimed towards work within fringe theatre groups. Therefore it is important for the participants to become independent, self-governed actors – independent not only in that respect that they shall be entice to seek for their own creative force and work from their own ideas and avoid being controlled by directors and producers. They shall also be independent, meaning that they should be able to control things like economy, PR and press relations, tour planning, set design, costume and so on.
Sources of inspiration have, through the years, been directors, educationalists and groups such as: Etienne Decroux, Jerzy Grotowski, Commedia dell’Arte, Théâtre du Soleil, Antonin Artaud, Odinteatret, Dell’Arte Company, Västanå teater among others.


As artistic director at the Theatrestudio it is my work to plan the work, do the scheduling, bring in guest teachers, arrange meetings, make the budget, update the web pages, plan, arrange and hold the auditions, write text to catalogues and applications to the national board of education, organize performances and make tours and other administrative work, besides the teaching. Furthermore it is my responsibility to experiment with and develop the Theatrestudio training and other parts of the education.

When I train the students I start out from three departure points: the Theatrestudio training, exercises and rehearsals/ delivery.
The Theatrestudio training is always the foundation in my work. Just as an athlete must train his body, a musician must in practise his scales or a dancer his pliées, an actor must train his instrument – his body, his voice and his inner life – daily, in order not to go backwards in his development.
With the Theatrestudio training I want to give the actors an entrance to a physical rule of conduct in their acting, where every feeling and inner sensation is shown immediately in an external bodily expression and in that way become concrete and visual. By giving concrete, ”difficult” tasks in the training and in that way make distinct, pronounced demands upon the students I want to encourage them to overstep their limitations and gain confidence in their bodies and them selves. Then the actor will gain access to his instrument and will be able to easier choose physical entrance to their character and other work on stage.

It is often difficult for the participants to see the connection between the training and the work on stage. The exercises can be the link between the training and rehearsals/performance. Most of the time I build the exercises on scenes, movement score, dialogues or monologues. I begin these from an exercise or straight from the training and end it in a rehearsal like situation or with a little performance. Other exercises are more immediate and put the light on a specific problem or challenge the actor in a certain direction.
The exercises I work with has the nature of contact- and ensemble playing exercises, exercises in stage presence and concentration, stage presentation, character work, text analysis and movement improvisations. I also work more direct with stage acrobatics, mask technique and other disciplines for the stage.

Finally I naturally want to put up performances and shows with the students. The training and the exercises would not be to any good if they did not finally strive to reach their audience.
The Theatrestudio training does not prepare for a certain sort of theatre, but it entices often to a more intense, physical narrative style in performances. The performances are often suggestive and condensed or bold and exhilarated, but seldom intellectual or naturalistic. Since I also work with more physical disciplines in my work it is usually shown in performances as well.