Theatre in Nature – Physical Theatre Training Camp

Leaving the City…

When we train or work as performers, usually we’re coming in off the street or MTR into a studio space a few times a week. We cannot help but be influenced by our environment, and what we create becomes a product of the city rather than a reflection on it. By leaving the city behind and working in a natural environment, we can fully commit to performance training and regain the essential parts of our humanity that are being lost through the overcrowding and technology we are adapting to.

This idea is one that has many precedents in the work of other companies and theatre practitioners. Jacques Copeau took his actors to the country outside Paris to train as early as 1913, to find a method of training to improve their physical dexterity, authenticity and ability to work in harmony. Most famously perhaps, Jerzy Grotowski moved from the city of Wrocław to a remote forest base in 1972 to pursue his own paratheatrical experiments. When Gardzienice was established in 1977 by one of Grotowski’s former collaborators, Staniewski, the company took the name of the tiny Polish village where they are based, creating and performing theatre in this ‘natural environment.’ Tadashi Suzuki relocated his company to the village of Toga in 1976, and there are other modern examples in Asia, such as Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and U-theatre.

Ivor Houlker Actor's Headshot

Our main instructor – Ivor’s performance and movement training is influenced by these groups, and in particular his time living, training and performing with Gardzienice. His approach involves site-specific performance techniques and demanding physical training that heightens the actor’s awareness of self, others, and our environment. Alongside methods from European theatre practitioners, Ivor incorporates training from his background in tai chi.

Billy Sy - Actor's Headshots Colour

Another main instructor – Billy’s movement training focuses on the psycho-physical process of acting, and methods of building an ensemble. He focuses on helping actors to develop the body’s awareness, and understanding the universal states of groups and individuals is as important as training one’s imagination and observation. This enables actors to bring transformation through their outward expressions of inner intents. Billy is passionate about sharing a variety of methods and the work of different movement practitioners, but emphasis will be placed on Laban’s movement philosophy, physical actions and exercises relating to elements. Billy is also a certified yoga instructor, and he includes yoga training for actors as a way of balancing the physical, psychological and mental bodies and enhancing one’s self-realisation.

Camp Details

  • Date: 18-20/9/2015 (Fri-Sun)
  • Location: Sai Kung Wan Chai Campsite, hiking trails and surrounding beaches
  • Gathering time & venue: 10am, 18th September @ Sai Kung Town Centre
  • Finish time & venue: 5pm, 20th September @ Wong Shek Pier
  • Fee: $1,500
  • Quota: 12-16
  • Main Instructors: Ivor Houlker, Billy Sy
  • Suitable for: People who have experience in theatre, movement or performance, and have a reasonable level of physical fitness. (Professionally trained theatre practitioners will be considered first)

* This training programme will be conducted in Cantonese and English.

Programme Content and Itinerary


Notes for Applicants

  1. Applicants should evaluate their own physical condition for joining this programme.
  2. The programme will be accompanied by an experienced hiker and certified first-aider.
  3. Participants will have to help carrying a small amount of food and tools.
  4. Participants will take turns to prepare meals and cleaning up.
  5. Meals will be vegetarian, one meat dish will be provided per meal for those who request it.
  6. No mobile internet is available at the campsite, but it has phone reception, and is equipped with shower and toilet facilities.
  7. The fee only includes the food and tools, but NOT a tent hire fee. Participants will have to bring their own tents. If necessary, Rooftop Productions can assist you in renting upon request. Renting fees are around $75-120/night (2-3 people tent), or $65-80/night (4-5 people tent). Rooftop will collect the tent renting fees on actual cost payment.

Application Form

Please complete the online form below. We will get back to you with your application result and details of the payment method.


Enquiries No.: 9231 9196 (Ms. Li)
Enquires E-mail:

當劇場走進大自然 - 形體劇場戶外訓練營Theatre in Nature – Physical Theatre Training CampWe’re pleased to announce that will will be…

Posted by Rooftop Productions on Thursday, 23 July 2015

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