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ZEN ZEN ZOMaking Theatre Then and NowTH5611 Lighting DesignSarah Lawler11/10/15

Who are they?ZEN ZEN ZOisa Brisbane-based physical theatre company in Australia. Founded byLynne Bradley & Simon Woodsin 1992.Zen Zen Zo has created over50 new productionsranging from radical reinterpretations of the classics to innovative self-devised works.

Simon Woods - VisualSIMON WOODSco-founded Zen Zen Zo with Lynne Bradley in 1992. From 2011-2015 Simon worked as a Producer at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and Brisbane Powerhouse delivering productions and festivals across all genres.Simon directed over 20 productions for Zen Zen Zo, including the multiple award-winningMacbeth: As Told by the Weird Sisters(Brisbane, Townsville, Singapore 98-02),The Cult of Dionysus(Japan 94, Brisbane Festival 96),Sub-Con Warrior 2.0(08), The Odyssey (QPAC 04), andThe Man Who Sold the World(Brisbane Festival 2000).Simon is one of Australias leading instructors in theSuzuki Actor Training Method.Over 15 years of teaching and directing, Simon has also run numerousSuzuki Actor Trainingprograms in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada. As well as leading ongoing training with Zen Zen Zo. Simon receivedFirst Class Honours in Drama at QUT(1996) and was awarded anAPA Research Scholarshipin 1997. He received a Master of Arts in Drama (UQ) in 2006 for research on the application of theSuzuki Method for Western performers.In 1998 he was a recipient of theBrisbane City Council Lord Mayors Performing Arts Fellowshipto continue practical training in Japan then studied theSuzuki Method, Viewpointsand Composition with Anne Bogartand theSITI Company. Simon again attended the International Masterclass with theSuzuki Company of Togain Japan in 2007. In addition to training performers at Zen Zen Zo, Simon was on staff in the Strength and Conditioning Department of theBrisbane Lions Football Clubunder Leigh Matthews developing programs in flexibility, core strength and mental skills from 2001-2008.

Lynne Bradley - Physical Has worked as a director, choreographer, performer and actor-trainer in Brisbane and abroad for the past 25 years. In 1992 she founded Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre with Simon Woods, and has spent the past two decades building Zen Zen Zo into an internationally renowned performance and training centre. Lynne is currently involved in two major intercultural exchanges with world-renowned Butoh company Dairakudakan in Japan, and the International Schools throughout Asia.As a director, choreographer and performer, Lynne has won a number of awards, including most recently Matilda Awards forCabaret(Best Musical), andThe Tempest(Best Independent Production). Zeitgeistwas also short-listed for a prestigious Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009. After 20 years as Artistic Director, Lynne has recently moved into the role of Training Centre Director of Zen Zen Zo.Lynne is also a principal instructor specializing inmovement and physical theatre, and has founded all of Zen Zen Zos flagship training programs, includingStomping Ground, Company Internship and The Actors Dojo.Her training includes theSuzuki Method, Noh, Nihon Buyo and Butoh,which she studied.In 1998 she received a scholarship to studythe ViewpointswithAnne Bogartand theSITI companyin New York, and she and Simon Woods subsequently became the first teachers of this actor training method in Australia. She is also a qualified teacher ofAshtanga Yoga(1st series). Lynne received a first-class Honours degree from the University of Queensland, is currently completing her PhD on Physical Theatre in Australia, and lecturers regularly in Australian universities around the country. She also leads many of Zen Zen Zos courses and classes in the Brisbane and Melbourne Training Centres, where she mentors over 50 students each year.

Butoh Dance is a form of Japanese dance theatre. The art form is known to "resist fixity and be difficult to define.Common features of the art form include playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and it is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion.


Noh TheatreNoh is often based on tales from traditional literature with a supernatural being transformed into human form as a hero narrating a story. Noh integrates masks, costumes and various props in a dance-based performance, requiring highly trained actors and musicians. Emotions are primarily conveyed by stylized conventional gestures while the iconic masks represent the roles such as ghosts, women, children, and old people.


Who are they? Cont. Zen Zen Zos aesthetic was forged between theancient Asian dance-theatre traditions, the European avant-garde theatre movement, and contemporary pop culture, where sound, light, movement and spectacle communicate meaning and experience. Zen Zen Zo believes in a theatre of contact, in which the relationship between the actors and the audience is at onceintimate and shocking, compelling and confrontational, ritualistic and profane.

First Production 1992 Never the Elephant (loose translation of Zen Zen Zo)After debuting with the production Never the Elephant the company went on to produce Galileo , The Zoo Story and The Way of Mud (presented as a part of the 1993 Brisbane Fringe Festival). Between 1993 and 1995 the company relocated to Kyoto, Japan, where we participated in a cross-cultural collaboration with local Japanese artists resulting in two large-scale bilingual productions, The Cult of Dionysus and Macbeth: As Told by the Weird Sisters . This period was critical in establishing the company's key aesthetic philosophies and training methodologies.

First International TourMacbeth: As Told by the Weird SistersOriginally a bilingual work created in Japan in 1995Remounted in Brisbane in 1998, 1999 and again in 2002 at QPAC, the show then toured internationally, headlining the Singapore Youth Festival. Featuring a chorus of 8 witches, this promenade production plunged the audience into the midst of Macbeth's increasing madness, sweeping them up (literally) into the action. This was the first of many Zen Zen Zo shows to intimately explore the actor-audience relationship using the promenade convention of allowing the viewers to move around the space.


Production HighlightsThe Odyssey , which went on to win 3 Matilda Awards.2006 and 2007 brought the large-scale promenade performances of Sub Con Warrior 1 (my personal favorite) and the Matilda Award-nominated production Dracula , both playing to sold-out houses.Sub Conhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JeFnBa4VW8

Sample of Script - The Tempesthttps://australianplays.org/script/PL-179/extract

Performances 2015 Unfortunately, due to government funding cuts, there are no performances in 2015. Also, Zen Zen Zo is currently working on their production gallery page. So photos from previous productions are hard to come by.

Stomping Ground Summer School2014 will mark Stomping Ground's 16th year. The aim of the program is to introduce artists to a range of physical theatre disciplines including Zen Zen Zo's specialty areas of the Suzuki Method, Butoh, and the Viewpoints. Stomping Ground will provide a solid base in these approaches focusing on developing the performer's physical, vocal and ensemble skills.

It is also a journey of transformation -- both personally and professionally - as participants begin the new year by refining their goals for 2014, shaping their craft, and meeting fellow artists with similar interests and beliefs.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_mDHbKoPLA