THE THEATRICAL AWARENESS PRACTICE
My Theory and Practice
The Theatrical Awareness Practice (TTAP) is the result of my years of research and experimentation.
For the majority of my time as a theatrical researcher, over the past 15 years, I have been searching for the most elemental aspects of live-performance. I have been distilling live-performance down to its key components, to its most essential building blocks, to its core. My research is physical. And it is visceral. And it takes place in real time, with real people, doing real things.
The Theatrical Awareness Practice is a somatic and experiential theatrical practice that follows in the footsteps of some of the most influential teaching artists of the last fifty years: Deborah Hay,
Liz Lerman, Daria Fain, Ann Kilkelly, Robert Leonard, Jen Harmon, Wendell Beavers, Mary Overlie. Each of whom have had a profound impact on who I am as an artist and as an educator.
The Theatrical Awareness Practice consists of deeply researched and highly structured improvisational explorations that are designed to reacquaint the artist with the infinite intelligence and creative capacity of their own human body experience. TTAP trains the artist to live in their experiential mind/body. It liberates the performer from their habitual, analytical, judgmental, and speculative selves. The practice encourages each participant to become aware of their ever-expanding relationship with the inexhaustible treasures of the present moment as it gently unlocks each person’s theatrical instincts and empowers the artist to be an active, collaborative participant in any creative process.
I employ TTAP to train live performers in Drama; Musical Theater; Opera; Dance (Modern, Post-modern, Contemporary); Experimental Theater, Performance Art and Film. I also use TTAP in my directing and collaboration in each of these diverse forms. I push the form, while honoring the form.
As well as being a method of training, TTAP concretizes each element of my live-performance theory, which presently consists of: Artist as Content, Practice as Performance, Active Observation, Distant Touch, Interpretation in the Moment, Working in the Unknown, The Practice/Task/Text Model of creating live performance, Stop Making Sense.
Presently I am using The Theatrical Awareness Practice as the corner stone of my work as a professional director, and as an educator, director and choreographer at The Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where I hold the position of The Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage in both the Opera and Musical Theatre Departments.
Development of the Theatrical Awareness Practice is happening right now – in my master classes,
my professional rehearsals and at CCM in the class rooms and rehearsal studios where I teach, direct and choreograph.
RECENT MASTER CLASSES
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI
Beijing Dance Academy
Brighton High School, Brighton, MI
Miami University, Miami, OH
CCM Preparatory Program, Cincinnati, OH
Jersey Arts Council / ShuaSpace Art Center, Jersey City, NJ
Teatro SEA (Society of the Educational Arts, Inc.), New York City
Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Teacher’s College, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Libertyville High School, Chicago, IL
Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
Heartspring School, Wichita, KS
County Prep High School, Jersey City, NJ
"Professor DeGeorge’s most important contribution to CCM Opera, is his connection to musical theater and drama. He is an astoundingly necessary aspect of our education here in the Opera Department. Opera is quickly demanding better acting; more realistic acting. In my mind, there should be no difference in training for opera and musical theater. They are both the same art form separated only by the tastes of the composers themselves. There should be no difference in how we approach the drama. I feel that Professor DeGeorge provides immediate and effective insight into the aspects of theater and drama. His influence on the opera students of CCM will have a direct and greatly beneficial influence on the future of the art form (a lofty statement, but I believe it.) He is a unique asset to the CCMOpera Department and the future students of CCM deserve the opportunity to work with someone so extraordinary."
- Jason Weisinger, Opera 2014
"You keep an open mind for every single student, no matter what they think. The students learn from you, and you even seem to learn from the students. This concept is so different than any other professor I have ever had and I believe everyone should have this philosophy."
- Cole Harksen MT 2021
"Vince not only taught us invaluable acting techniques, but also life lessons. His training, a school of thought called the "Theatrical Awareness Practice,"which he created from years of research, centers around experimenting, encouraging impulses, being open and receptive, and just being comfortable living in the unknown. As actors, our livelihood is the unknown. Almost everything in this career is out of our hands, and for many actors, that lack of control and structure is extremely frightening. So, as we learned the above acting techniques, Vince’s course also taught us important lessons about how to live healthfully and happily as artists. I’ve learned that if you put the work in, trust it, and then live in the unknown, beautiful things can happen."
-Emily Morris, MT 2017
"His personal teachings and techniques for performance have been perhaps the most influential instruction I’ve ever received, and I leave his teaching more capable of tackling t
he challenges of a career as a performer, and more self-aware as a human being. I so deeply believe that his ideas could have a revolutionary and influential effect on the world of the performing arts today."
- Amber Fasquelle, Opera Artist Diploma 2018
"I was directed by him in The Cunning Little Vixen by Janácêk and in the masters scenes program my first year. To merely say that I respect Vince as a teacher, an artist and an intellect would not describe how deeply I support his work. His attention to the work and the depth with which he approached the material was quite impressive. Throughout the staging process of Vixen I felt Vince was completely present and invested in every detail. Vince always worked to make sure everyone felt seen, heard and respected."
- Grace Newberry, Masters of Music in Voice 2017
"I think back to the person I was the first day I walked into acting class, and I can honestly say I would not recognize that girl now. Vince’s acting class has helped me breakdown my wall of bad habits and delve into who I really am as an actor, as well as a person. I look forward to what new discoveries there are to be made in acting class every day, and I cannot wait to continue that exploration over the next three years."
- Freshman, MT 2016
"Because of your staging and directing methods, I have developed a much deeper appreciation for the movement and body work that goes into an opera. I have gotten to see just how much a performance improves when a singer brings truth to staging. I greatly admire the work some of my colleagues did this weekend. Their performances, in addition to this rehearsal process, will most definitely influence my approach to performing."
-Caitlin Gotimer, Opera Artist Diploma 2016
"Vince gave me something no teacher had given me before. He helped me discover a renewed sense of passion and the freedom to create in a way I never had. Having already gone through three years of training at CCM, it was mind blowing to a lot of us how in-line, on par, and completely relevant Vince’s training was to our senior year."
-Dane Becker, MT 2014
"Performance was always an issue for me, because I always connected more with music than acting; being open and available has always been something I’ve had to fake and force on stage, without ever having anything to rely on nor enjoy when I really didn’t want to do it. I’ve used and really tried to embrace the philosophy and meaning behind the exercises we do in class, and, whether or not it is actually showing, I feel personally that when I perform or audition I am much more grounded (one of those esoteric terms I always rolled my eyes at) and able to be just a little more open and vulnerable after doing body work on my own. I’ve finally gotten something that isn’t voice or music training that I can take with me and use and come back to for the rest of my career, and I can’t thank you enough."
-Ben Lee, Opera Artist Diploma 2018
"I just wanted to thank you again for your brilliant work with my students. We had our final solo presentations on Thursday – and they nailed across the board, made huge leaps forward. I know part of that success is because of the way you empowered them with new tools in your lovely Master Class on The Theatrical Awareness Practice. At Columbia College, we do something called "performance week"– where classes present their final work as an open class for other students and faculty. The students in the audience were floored and the faculty were sooooo complimentary. Some were literally crying because of the growth and improvement. Can’t wait to have you back."
- Ashton Byrum, Columbia College of Chicago, MT Coordinator and Chair, 2016