Rooftop Productions Hong Kong Theatre - Song Theatre

Song Theatre Workshop

Polyphonic Singing and the Application of Traditional Song in Contemporary Theatre

03/12/2016 — 18/12/2016

The act of singing has been a part of theatre since the dithyramb in ancient Greece, but the advent of Musical Theatre as a genre in the 19th century meant that the use of singing in theatre became associated with one type of show, with conventions of staging, structure, and content. By using the term Song Theatre we hope to reclaim live singing for use in experimental theatre forms, mixing different traditions to create something new.

This course will introduce what song theatre is, where it has come from and how to understand it as a contemporary theatre genre. To do this we will take a practical approach, learning and singing traditional polyphonic songs from different cultures around the world and then finding ways to use them in performance. The way we learn these songs is through listening and repetition, just as it is taught traditionally. Thsoere is no need to be able to read music. After learning the songs, we will explore different ways to put them in a theatrical setting, using techniques from devising theatre and physical theatre. As well as experiencing the practical aspects of song theatre in class, we will also provide notes and video references for you to learn more about the history and development of ‘Song Theatre.’

Song Theatre Course Details

Dates: 3/12, 4/12, 10/12, 11/12, 17/12, 18/12/2016 (Saturdays & Sundays, 6 sessions)
Time: 2pm-5pm
Venue: We Draman Studio (3/F, Cheong Tai Industrial Building, 16 Tai Yau Street, San Po Kong)
Fee: $1,500
Quota: 16 participants
Tutors: Michelle Li, Ivor Houlker
This programme is conducted in Cantonese& English.

Discount 1: Full time students – $500 off (fee: $1,000), not available when quota is full. *
Discount 2: Former students will get a10% discount (fee: $1,350)*
*These discounts may not be used together.

About Rooftop Productions

Rooftop Productions was founded by Ivor Houlker and Michelle Li in 2014. We work in and around theatre in Hong Kong, promoting contemporary multidisciplinary ideas about theatre performance, training and multimedia. Our site-specific theatre work The Beautiful Ones was awarded for ‘Outstanding Effect’ and our founders were nominated in the ‘Best Director’ category for the same show in The 8th Hong Kong Theatre Libre.

Tutors’ Biographies

Michelle Li - Actors' HeadshotsMichelle Li is the founder and co-artistic director of Rooftop Productions. She holds an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths, University of London, and BA in English Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has returned to Hong Kong to develop her work as a multidisciplinary theatre artist. Apart from making her own work, she is also a theatre director, performer, singer and theatre educator. Recent local works include: Rooftop Productions Milk and Honey, The Beautiful Ones, A Series of Unexpected Events; Hong Kong Arts Festival Danz Up. Her overseas works include: Festa Farina e Forca (Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo, Sicily), Ch-ch-ch-changes (London, UK), Making a Difference (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), Beware (Helen Chadwick Song Theatre, UK).

Ivor Houlker Actor's Headshot

Ivor Houlker is the founder and co-artistic director of Rooftop Productions, having relocated from London to Hong Kong in 2014. Ivor trained as a multidisciplinary performer, theatre artist and musician. Ivor works internationally as a director, actor, musician, writer and all-round theatre artist. He specialises in physical theatre and site-specific performances, involving live original music/sound, movement, integrated multimedia, installation, and developing new forms of audience-performer relationship. Ivor’s work has created and performed theatre work in London, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Brighton, Prague, Palermo, Epidaurus, Wrocław, Warsaw and Lublin.

To enquire about the course, please contact Miss Michelle Li (9231 9196) or email to