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Learning the language of theatre through Gest
  • Available both as a 90-minute workshop, or a more comprehensive 3-hour workshop for actors, teachers (including ESL and language arts teachers), and public speakers.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about a theatre concept called a gest, introduced by the German playwright, director, and poet Bertolt Brecht. It is a combination of a physical action—or gesture—that sums up the gist of a relationship between people, a feeling, a place, or an attitude. A gest has the potential to pack a wallop when it comes to communicating complex ideas on stage. Once you know what to look for, anyone with a keen eye can start to recognize gests in daily life. Workshop participants will develop confidence in how to create and incorporate gests in the stories they want to tell, either as theatre performers or as storytellers, or public speakers.


Gests can also be used as a tool for teachers. When students understand how gests work, they can dramatize stories in the classroom in ways that are fun and exciting to watch. The enthusiasm generated by a well-performed story leads to interest in discussing it and wanting to learn more about it.

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