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An Overview of Margolis Method
 

Margolis Method has been developed through daily studio research over the last 35 years by Kari Margolis and dedicated theatre artists. What initially began as a way to train actors for the MB ADAPTORS professional, touring theatre company, has grown into an internationally recognized methodology for empowering theatre artists to own their craft. Margolis Method takes the mystery out of acting by offering tangible, practicable exercises that allow the actor to build and hone their skills as a true craftsperson.

Training takes place in a challenging yet supportive environment that inspires students to find the essence of theatre in every breath. Margolis Method organically synthesizes the vital connections between the physical, intellectual, and intuitive, while merging muscular and vocal expression. The Method is a three-dimensional approach to theatre training that merges the skill sets of acting, directing and playwriting to build what we call the “Actor Warrior.”

Margolis Method is not an aesthetic but a comprehensive series of highly theatrical exercises based on the universal principles of physics and communication. Training in the Method will make you a stronger theatre artist in any theatrical style or aesthetic, ranging from abstract, experimental to linear, text-based plays.

It is possible to intersect with the Method on many levels, from one day workshops to years of professional, in-depth training. Even artists attending one day workshops will be able to take with them practicable exercises and deep insights into new ways of looking at theatre. Artists can also find comprehensive training and fully immerse themselves into the full, professional, long-term training, becoming powerful, transformative theatre artists. Long-term training is especially relevant to those artists interested in creating original work.

Founder Kari Margolis drew early research inspiration from the philosophies and work of such artists as Etienne Decroux, Jerzy Grotowski and Bertolt Brecht. The synthesis of such philosophies gave her the foundation for what she considers true theatre artistry -- the ability to tap into and shape one’s personal visceral impulses in a way that transforms them into universal ideas that can reach the most diverse of audiences.

 

A Short History of Margolis Method Training

Kari Margolis first opened classes in New York City in 1982, upon returning to the United States after seven years of studying and performing abroad. A group of twelve students devoted themselves to study and eventually formed the first ensemble of the MB ADAPTORS company, creating then touring AUTOBAHN internationally for five years.  

Classes ran out of a studio on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope Brooklyn until 1985, when the MB ADAPTORS was invited to become Artists-in-Residence at the prestigious BACA Downtown performance space. In 1988, the company and school moved into its own studio in Downtown Brooklyn where it ran a lively performance space, recording/video studios and daily classes.

In 1992, the company and school relocated to Minneapolis and set up a performance space and training studio in the Warehouse Historic District. In 1997, a special faculty position was created for Kari at the University of Minnesota and the first Physical Approaches to Acting classes were created. In 1999, the Company moved into an old abandoned church in the Elliot Park neighborhood.

Five years later, in 2004, the company began to develop the Margolis Method Center Int’l in the beautiful Town of Highland, located in the Delaware River Valley just 90 miles west of NYC. The Center is now a bustling place of artistic exploration, housing both the MB ADAPTORS Company and all of the Center’s training programs.

 

Training at the Margolis Method Center

Training at the Center is highly focused, rigorous and ensemble based. Each day approaches building and refining the artist’s physical/vocal instrument while also developing the ability to think creatively on one’s feet. Technique will always be followed by improvisation structures. This allows each student to put specific concepts into theatrical action followed by the opportunity to share work with colleagues.

Training runs five hours per day with a one hour break for lunch. Creation of performance projects is also central to life at the MM Center and artists create works of their own as well as works directed by faculty and other training artists. The studio is made accessible for extra practice hours, rehearsal and research. Time can also be arranged to show works in progress or projects started before attending the MM Center.