The Art of Transformation

Williamson Technique applied to Uta Hagen’s Character Conditions

An Uta Hagen Centennial Workshop

Presented by Janice Orlandi

Williamson Technique is a physical technique for actors developed by Loyd Williamson to expand your physical, emotional and expressive range by integrating the connections between your body, voice, instinct, five senses and imagination. We explore how the body processes experience through the five senses into truthful behavior while involved in the circumstances and relationships of the imaginary world of the play. Through this rigorous movement technique — applying qualities of space, weight, time, qualities, of Movement, the five senses, atmospheric shifts, and exploration of the imaginary world though sensory contact and movement — you develop a flexible, responsive, emotionally available and vocally alive instrument.The practice of a this psychophysical technique is designed to explore, develop, and expand the actor’s process oriented “Tool Kit.”

We apply Williamson Technique to Uta Hagen’s Character Conditions exercise, exploring the physical process of creating a character with “conditions” such as cold, hot or sleepy, and “Altered States” or impediments such as drunk or drugged. With applications to dramatic texts from theatre or film that require or imply a character with a physical condition, impediment or altered state, we explore archetypal essences, qualities and atmospheres for activating the body in space. Using a variety of ensemble building, and devising methods we find gesture, action and story, leading to devised, emotionally charged and atmospheric movement improvisations, incorporating altered speech and vocal shifts or qualities as well as physical shifts in space, weight, tempo and effort, to create the illusion and physical attributes of an altered state or character conditions.