Stephen first came in contact with Anne Bogart and the Viewpoints while teaching the Suzuki Training at the SITI Summer Intensive in Saratoga Springs in 1994. Since then he has been working continuously with Anne and the SITI Company on the Viewpoints. He started teaching the Viewpoints at Saratoga in 1997 and has worked with students on the Viewpoints and related topics all over the world and around the US ever since. The Viewpoints have their roots in the post-modern dance world of New York in the 1960s. But ultimately, the sources of the work go farther back to John Cage and Merce Cunningham and the renewed interest in Buddhism in America that arose around the middle of the 20th Century and continues to this day. In both trainings Stephen teaches, the central questions seem to be:
1 – What is presence and how can we develop it?
2 – What is the relationship between the audience and the stage?
3 – What is my technique and how much mastery do I have over it?
The Viewpoints class focuses on the basic elements of the viewpoints as well as the role of sensation in helping the actor to be present in the space and visible on the stage or wherever they do their work, including in front of the camera. Students work on developing open and conscious movement, practice developing and working with an ensemble, learn the basic philosophy of the viewpoints, and practice being seen while discovering their own work. The Viewpoints work is a Pandora’s box that continually opens up new areas of interest and research in an actor.