The 1st semester was very rough and tough for me , as a mature student ( 37 years old ) from Hong Kong , I have been working in theatre as an actress , teacher and also a director for 12 years , eventually I am here , In Salzburg , aimed at gaining enriching my profession and eager to challenge myself in a foreign country , or at least , I took the courage to question myself : Do I love theatre enough to pursue a better realisation of theatre ? I had a question in my mind when I started my master studies here : Other than working like a machine in theatre and strive for living , how could theatre literally empower the society ?

My 2nd semester began in March and ended in June , it started with an intensive March , and a long Easter holiday afterwards and ended with a documentary project performance at the end . Knowing more about documentary theatre is one of my motivation to come to this university , as I like documentary theatre wholeheartedly and I wish to know more about it . Fortunately , I am very satisfied of my 2nd semester , as I get to know how to work with a team with diverse background from different cultures . I was quite lost in my 1st semester , as a new comer to Europe , the institute provided plenty of time and chances to adapt to a new working experiences and hence I found myself way more confidence to express myself .

There were memorable moments to share so that you can get a glimpse of our semester : In this semester we have guest teachers giving inspiring workshops and lectures to us , they are :

In March , Ana Hofner on “Whitness as Property” , after some lectures and discourses , we had an excursion to Vienna joining the artists conference and enjoying the exhibition , that was a class which we learnt artistic research methodology too . Tobias Rausch on Interview techniques , he is an amazing artist who shared his interview techniques and research method to us , we also had some practical sessions .

In April , Nicole Baier on Documentary Film , a very inspiring class which broaden our horizon on documentary works , not only in theatre but also in film , we also did a small project on using different camera framing techniques to tell a story .

In May , Claudia Heu on “Intervention & Participation & Subversion” , we got a glimpse of being an observer or a performer in a city , just by changing our perceptions in our mind , it ended with a small audio walk tryout in Salzburg , we created and presented our work to each other . Katharina Bill on “Bodies as politics and documents” , she shared her experiences/works and thoughts with us , it raised our awareness of respecting human body and how body could also be a container of documents and how body represents in political discourse .

In June , We focused on our documentary project “ Dance until we die “ as a program in Salzburg Sommerszene , with the mentoring of Kathrin Herm and Judith Franke . That was a very amazing and fascinating experience , and also an exhausted adventure with my colleagues . We worked as a collective in this project , we found a topic in Salzburg , and started our investigation , contacted people which are related to the topic and interviewed them , researched on the topic , transcribed the interviews recordings , but we also need to take the responsibility of budgeting / costumes design / looking for suitable venues for our showing / set design / set making , we took care of the production schedule , communicated with technicians , we rehearsed and we also performed on stage ! We invited three acting / directing students from Ukraine to join our performing team , they are Manila Soroka , Mark Sonkin and Sofia Nimak . So eventually we devised the work together .

   

 

We also have regular voice training ( by Susanna Litschauer ) , dance and choreography (by Mirjam Klebel ) and Feldenkrais ( by Christian Sattlecker ) .

Ulrike Hatzer and Judith Franke as our “ brain“ in the institute , they provided inspiring workshops and colloquiums , they provided constant consultant sessions to all of us . The semester was closed with a full day reflection session , so all the students had the chance to talk to teachers individually and get personal advises from them , I treasured it a lot as I could feel the openness of the whole institute , teachers respected the individuality of students , we basically learn from each other everyday through working and discussion , exhausting but it is also fun .

I would like to sum up this semester report by an idiom from the Analects of Confucius : If three walk together , one can be my teacher .

And here I want to share some of my precious moments in the institute as a short trailer for you if you are interested in this study programme .

- I got a chance to facilitate a community workshop in Lehen , I was completely out of my comfortable zone as I was in a situation that I need to work with a group which we dont have a common language to speak , but actually it worked quite well.

- I improvised with our acting team from Ukraine in the documentary project , the improvisation was amazing , my soul was completely touched by our work.

- On our premiere night , we were thinking maybe nobody will come and we may have no audiences , but eventually that was a full house . ( and actually more and more people came after the premiere )

- We biked to the performance venue together everyday , bringing costumes and props .

- We painted the stage set together with my colleagues .

 

- At the end of the semester we learnt some Bollywood dance in our choreography class , we had fun and forgot all the stress we had.

- When we were stocked with our group dynamics in the documentary project , Christian was trying to inspire us in the Feldenkrais class by showing us how to take care of each other’s body , so as to find another way to work in a team. Yuk Yu