Kristin Linklater, author of Freeing the Natural Voice and iconic educator whose work was taught and practiced throughout the world, died Friday, June 5th, 2020.
Mary Overlie, originator of the Six Viewpoints, died on the same day. Although Anne Bogart and Tina Landau further developed the system, The Viewpoints are principles of movement that were conceived by Overlie as an improvisational framework for generating choreography and theatrical staging. These principles, which are widely taught and practiced, allow choreographers, directors, and actors to share a vocabulary in their collaborative processes.
I first learned the Linklater Technique as an undergraduate and I cannot honestly say it had the transformative impact on me that it seems to have on other young actors. But that's precisely what I appreciate about it - it systematizes the practice of vocalization in simple terms, essentially demystifying the process by which the vocal mechanism functions.
My first substantial experience with viewpoints occurred several years later as a graduate student. I believe that some educators attempted to teach me at least some of the viewpoints prior to that, but not with any practical clarity that I was able to draw upon in my own work. As a graduate student, however, I was rigorously put through my paces by a guest director who trained at SITI Company who incorporated viewpoints in every collaborative process she facilitated. It was also then that I learned there are a total of fourteen viewpoints, eight of which were later added by Bogart.
Is de-commodification the answer?
Streaming or broadcasting an ancient art form is a stop-gap solution that may have long-term consequences. Producers must think very clearly about what's really at stake by freely distributing productions online that were meant to be experienced live.
As "stay-at-home" orders are lifted, even if producers take extensive precautionary measures on behalf of patrons, we must think critically about how we'll attract patrons back into our theaters, not because they're afraid we haven't taken precautionary measures on their behalf, but because we've already given them
In an article published to https://theconversation.com, Dr. Caitlin Vincent eloquently describes the pitfalls of moving live programming online:
"In this climate, digital content may be the only means for sustaining the sector in the medium-term. But a problematic precedent has been set.
Joe Haj, artistic director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, delivers a powerful, heartfelt message on the importance of live performance.