I believe the “magic ingredient” great works of theater possess lies in the heart and soul of the actor—the actor who can synthesize the instinctual with the intellectual and the visceral with the technical. By doing so the personal can become universal and acting can become art. I believe in developing “actors” more than teaching how to “act.” No one needs to teach a sponge how to absorb water, it is built for the job! In the same manner, the actor’s body/breath/imagination can be trained to become a sensitive instrument to bring the emotional and psychological into the physical realm to share with an audience. Margolis Method takes the conceptual out of acting training by creating tangible, practicable exercises to hone and own the skill sets of the theatre artist’s craft.
Margolis Method trains actors to recognize what is inherently theatrical in everyday experiences by revealing poetry and metaphor. By learning to delicately balance physical, intellectual, and emotional expression an actor can work in what we call the “creative state.” In this state of hyper-awareness actors can access deeper levels of creativity. The actor working within this state of integration has the power to engage audiences, stimulating their creative state as well.
This two-day workshop will allow students to experience the Margolis Method’s dynamic process of tapping into an actor’s creative state. Using a laboratory format training artists experience creating theater on their feet, connecting the voice to muscular conditions and dramaturgically shaping visceral impulse. The skill-sets of actor, director and playwright are merged to develop a powerful three dimensional theatre artist.
The Margolis Method’s clear and in-depth vocabulary offers actors, directors and playwrights a common language with which to more precisely communicate and increases all theatre artist’s ability to articulate both what they see in others and want to express themselves.
Kari Margolis has been committed to the the exploration of the actor's craft and the creation of original theatre productions since 1982. She is Co-Founder with Tony Brown and Artistic Director of the Margolis Brown ADAPTORS Company originally established in New York City in 1984. She has conceived, directed, designed costumes, props and sets for sixteen critically acclaimed, evening-length productions that have toured nationally and internationally to Barcelona, Berlin, London, Singapore, and throughout Mexico and Canada. She has also performed in several of these productions. Her original work also includes large-scale, site-specific events for such places as the Brooklyn Museum and the beach at Coney Island, NY.
Over the last 29 years, Ms. Margolis has, through daily studio research, developed a dynamic physical approach to actor training and theatre creation (Margolis Method). Her original research has been inspired in part by the work of Jerzy Grotowski, Bertolt Brecht and Etienne Decroux. She served on the Theatre Faculty of the University of Minnesota from 1997 to 2004. In this position she played an integral role in reshaping the B.A. Acting Program, creating an environment focused on the actor/creator. She also introduced and developed the syllabus for new approaches to acting and directing classes, was faculty liaison to the student-run Xperimental theatre and created several original actor-centered ensemble performances with the students. Kari has been Master Teacher at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for ten years, working with the National Irene Ryan Candidates.
Kari has run a private actor training program since 1984, first in her New York City studio and then in Minneapolis from 1993 to 2004. She is presently building the Margolis Method Center in Highland NY. where she has been reaching an international student body since 2005. The Margolis Method Center runs a two-year program, summer workshops, University Professor Certification and Professional Artist Certification programs.
Kari conducts master classes, extended residencies and lecture demonstrations throughout the United States and internationally. She is a public speaker, published author and has, along with her own work, created original theatre productions for several University Theatre Programs and worked as a freelance director.
Original Repertory Productions / Year of Premiere
IN SEARCH OF TONTO BLUE, 2010, CYCLOPEDIA, 2008, THE HUMAN SHOW, 2005, SLEEPWALKERS, 2003, AMERICAN SAFARI, 2001, STARRY MESSENGER, 2000, VIDPIRES!, 1998, THE BED EXPERIMENT II, 1997, VANISHING POINT, 1995, CAFÉ PARADISE, 1993, KOPPELVISION and OTHER DIGITAL DEITIES, 1992, THE DILEMMA OF DESMODUS & DYPHILLA, 1991, SUITE SIXTEEN, 1990, DECODANCE, 1988, THE BED EXPERIMENT I, 1987, AUTOBAHN, 1985
360 DEGREES, Roebling Bridge, Minisink Ford, New York, 2005, TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE, Intermedia Arts Gallery, Mpls. MN, 2001, THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE, Minnesota Science Museum, St Paul, MN, 1999, IN SEARCH OF PLANET EDEN, created for the beach at Coney Island, NYC, 1991, SUITE SIXTEEN, created for the Brooklyn Museum, NYC. 1989, ART ATTACK created for front garden of the Brooklyn Museum, NYC, 1987
Awards, Fellowships and Grants
• McKnight Foundation 1993-2010
ENTREACTE Magazine, Association of Professional Actors and Directors of Catalunya, number 159, June 2008, Margolis Methodtm DVD funded by National Endowment for the Arts, 2005, MOVEMENT FOR ACTORS, Allworth Press NY, 2002: “An Introduction to Margolis Method /A Dynamic Physical Approach to Actor Training”, WORDS ON DECROUX, Mime Journal 1994: “Risking the Fall”, MOVEMENT THEATRE QUARTERLY, Summer 1993, “Experiences of an NEA Panelist”, MOVEMENT THEATRE QUARTERLY, Spring 1991, “Survival Through Growth”, INSIDE PERFORMANCE, June 1989, “Visual Poets”.
Master Classes and Residencies / edited list
Master teacher for Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (2000 -2010), Master teacher for Phoenix Fringe Festival, Arizona State University, Millikin University, Master Teacher for Rocky Mountain Theatre Association Festival, Association of Professional Actors and Directors of Catalunya, Barcelona (2010, 2008, 2006) Towson University MFA Program, University of Maryland Baltimore County, The University of Missouri Kansas City, Master Teacher Cos ’06 International Theatre Festival, Reus Spain, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Luther College, Saint Mary's College,Winona, MN., Ringling Brothers Clown College, WI., Theatre Mu, Minneapolis, George Mason University, Montclair State College.
Other Activities and Accomplishments, edited list
Created original multimedia production DREAMSCAPE, for Fort Lewis College. Production was invited to Region 8 American College Theatre Festival 2010. Keynote Speaker, Rocky Mountain Theatre Festival, Durango, CO. 2008. Created HUMAN SHOW for University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Production went to Edinburgh Festival and was invited to Region 8 and the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, 2004. Directed BLACK DOT, an operetta for young people produced by the Minnesota Chorale, 2003, Keynote Speaker for the National Conference of Theatre, Dance and Music Educators, Minneapolis, MN 2002. Served for four years on the National Endowment for the Arts, Theater and Creativity Panels (1992,93,94, 01). Site-reporter for National Endowment for the Arts Theater for fifteen years. Served on Jerome Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group Panels, multiple years. Served two terms as President of the National Movement Theatre Association. Pew/TCG -Two year Artist-In-Residence at Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis. Core ensemble member of Theatre of Man, San Francisco, 1972-74 and Omnibus, Montreal, 1977-81. Trained with many inspiring theater artists including three years with Etienne Decroux, extended workshops with Sandra Archer, Jean Asselin, Ronnie Davis, Anne Dennis and Leonard Pitt. Workshops with Eugenio Barba, Ryszard Cieslak and Carl Weber. Has maintained a daily research laboratory since 1984, working with an ensemble of artists, several of whom have dedicated over ten years to the development of the work. Is a member of ATME.
Articles and Reviews, (edited list) - chronological order
New York Times, Stephen Holden, May 31, 1985, Village Voice, Don Shewey, June 18, 1985, New York Times, Walter Goodman, December 15, 1986, New York Times, Anna Kisselgoff, January 18, 1987, Washington Post, Alan Kriegsman February 14, 1988, Pittsburgh Press, Nancy Goldner, June 17, 1988, Village Voice, Deborah Jowitt, April 25, 1989, Washington Post, Pamela Sommers, September 10, 1990, Village Voice, Jonathan Kalb, October 15, 1991, Village Voice, Charles McNulty, December 1992, Star Tribune, Mike Steele, March 12, 1993, City Pages, Carolyn Petrie, February 22, 1995, Pioneer Press, Jayne Blanchard, March 1995, Variety, Tad Simons, March 1995, Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine, Linda Shapiro, November, 1996, Star Tribune, Mike Steele, 1997, Star Tribune, Mike Steele, 1998 American Theatre Magazine, Kari Margolis on cover, March 2000, City Pages, Max Sparber, December, 2000, Star Tribune, Graydon Royce, December 2000, Arizona Republic, Kyle Lawson, February 2001, Star Tribune, Carolyn Petrie, September 2003, Star Tribune, Graydon Royce, March 2005, The Kansas City Star, Robert Trussell, 2008, WYPR Maryland Morning, J. Wynn Rousuck, October 2010
Venues Where Original Work Has Been Produced/edited list
7 Stages, Atlanta, Actor's Theatre of Phoenix, AZ, Art Awareness, Lexington, New York, Atlanta Arts Festival, Austin Arts Center and Real Art Ways, Hartford CT, BACA Downtown, Brooklyn, NY, Baltimore Theatre Project, MD, Central College, Pella, Iowa, City Theatre, Monterrey, Mexico, Dance Place, Washington DC, Dance Theatre Workshop, NYC Fortuney Theatre, Reus Spain, Harbourfront Theatre Centre, Toronto, Canada, Illusion Theater, Minneapolis, Gas Station Theatre, Winnipeg, Canada, John Harms Center, Engelwood, NJ, Just Off Broadway Theatre, Kansas City MO, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, Illinois, Le Festival Qui Fait Du Bruit, International, Montreal, Quebec, Marshall Artists Series, Huntington, WV, Montclair State College, Montclair NJ, Mount Vernon College,Washington, DC, Movement Theatre International, Philadelphia, PA, Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, Ogdensburg College, Canton, New York, O'Shaughnesssy, Saint Paul, MN, Performing Arts Center, SUNY Purchase, NY, Red Eye Theatre, MN, Stephen Foster Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, Saint Clement's Church, NYC, Saint Mary's College, Winona, MN, Singapore Festival of Arts, Singapore, Southern Theater, Minneapolis, MN, Spectrum, Montreal, Quebec, London International Mime Festival, London, England, Towson State University, Maryland, Tusten Theatre Narrowsburg NY, Wabash College, Wabasha, Indiana, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, Whole Theater, Montclair NJ