The Institute for Contemporary Performance
is an interdisciplinary training program for the contemporary theatre artist.
The ICP certificate program aims to create theatre artists that will reinvent theatrical storytelling; to train artists that will communicate radical thought in space, time and body.
We want to inspire the next generation of performance makers.
Interested in helping? 100% of your contribution to ICP goes directly to our scholarship fund, which helps students with financial need attend our training program. Contributions are accepted through our partner company, PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble). After clicking below, please select 'ICP Scholarship Fund' when you make your donation.
ICP’s unique laboratory approach to performance training means that faculty and students are engaged together in the process of hypothesis, research and outcome. All of our classes strive to pose questions about the role of the theatre artist in the creation of performance for the 21st Century.
All students at ICP will take the following courses:
Voice as Embodied Self
Building on Kristin Linklater’s work on the science of the self in relationship to the voice, participants will research new practices for opening up susceptibility to imagery, imaginary given circumstance, and text.
Participants will explore the work of Kristin Linklater and the relationship between the voice and the self. Through an exploration and practice of the Linklater progression, participants will develop a flexible and intimate connection between their voice, body and psyche, allowing for a transparency between inner experience and external expression. In addition the class will help participants to understand their conditioned vocal habits and develop methods for freeing themselves from these habits to be able to fully inhabit and interpret text and circumstance.
Instructor: Rebecca Lingafelter
The clown has an open heart. The clown exists only in the present. The clown does not learn from mistakes. The clown’s spirit is unbending and undaunted. The clown relishes all experience. The clown is motivated by intense instinctive needs and desires. The clown is extreme in choice of tactics. The performers awareness of self, physically and emotionally, determines the individual clown.
Utilizing a personal physical vocabulary participants will develop a distinct clown character,exposing their personal psychological presentation to the world through the world of the clown. Participants will develop short clown bits in small groups and individually.
Instructor: Philip Cuomo
This class excavates the roots of Western Theatre to find a new language for performance in our contemporary world. In Epic Theatre we ask what the roots of Western theatre can teach us about ritual, story, space and time, and how those lessons can be applied to the practice of contemporary performance.
We will ask questions about the connections between theatre and society, ritual and performance, classical and contemporary. The class will study the Greek Theatrical tradition including the historical, social and political factors that led to the rise of theatre in ancient Greece. Using contemporary notions of performance studies, the class will interrogate these traditions through both and artistic and anthropological lens. The class will also study contemporary performance trainings such as Suzuki and extended voice as tools to awaken these ancient texts. The class will culminate in the creation of new performance inspired by these ancient traditions – considering not only the theatrical traditions, but also the ways in which we can re-awaken our social and political connection to theatre as a fundamental component of a healthy society.
Instructor: Jacob Coleman
Maps of Space
Participants will gain a historical understanding and context of the movement/dance theater from 1950’s to 1970’s as the foundation for the Viewpoints work and apply the concepts to the creation of original work.
Introduction to Maps of Space (Corridors, Grid, Four Quadrants) and improvisational movement skills of composing on-the-spot. Introduction to the Red Square Practice and compositional awareness. Participants will learn and embody Beckett’s Quad. Students will create original scores and compose theatrical “still lifes”, “portraits” and “landscapes” using movement, text, sound and object. Methods of inquiry include movement improvisation and composition, contemplations on creative process, designing scores for ensemble, composing on-the-spot, reading, reflection papers, seminar discussion and practitioner lab reports.
Instructor: Amber Whitehall
Freedom to Change
This class will introduce students to The Alexander Technique. Alexander is a reeducation in non doing. As a pupil, you will learn how to free yourself up for more ease, efficiency, and honesty while performing and living. You will learn about your stereotyped habits that prevent you from your best self, laying a foundation of good use for all of your creative work and life
Students will learn and practice the Alexander Technique. Students will apply the Alexander Technique principles to scenes and choreography and physical work. Being able to observe their own use and functioning during the heightened states, the student will be able to understand more about their own stereotyped, habitual reactions and determine whether they either serve or hinder the vocal and physical communication of truth.
Instructor: Cristi Miles
Training runs September through MAY
ICP's one-year certificate program consists of 20 class-hours per week, plus additional hours of laboratory work outside of class. Tuition is $3700 per semester, or $7400 for the year.
About Our Faculty:
ICP courses are taught by our core faculty: Philip Cuomo, Jacob Coleman, Rebecca Lingafelter, Cristi Miles and Amber Whitehall. All instructors have extensive training with performance greats like Sonia Moore, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Mary Overlie, Wendell Beavers, Barbara Dilley and Tectonic Theatre. ICP faculty have taught at Portland Actor’s Conservatory, The Sonia Moore Studio of Theatre, Barnard College, Naropa University, Brandeis University, Boston Conservatory, Pacific University, Lewis & Clark College, Portland State University, The Public Theatre, and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
For more on the faculty, see our About page
Contact Jacob Coleman