Sunday, May 30, 2010


Exploring Creativity
Creating Solutions for Teachers and Classrooms
“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it.  We get educated out of it.”    Sir Ken Robinson
This workshop is the result of over thirty-five years of classroom experience teaching public speaking, writing and theater; nurturing and developing artists. It is a workshop in problem solving.  Creativity comes from practiced, sustained engagement, with people and with ideas. The workshop is an opportunity to refresh and nourish childlike curiosity, to experiment, and to stimulate the imagination.  Participants will leave better able to communicate, collaborate, make connections, and create the solutions our schools and our lives demand in the years ahead.  A must for teachers and anyone dedicated to helping ordinary people achieve the extraordinary.  Led by Bill Williams.
WHEN:           Wednesday, June 30th   9:30 – 4:00
WHERE:          Symphony Space – 2537 Broadway, 95th Street, NYC                                                                      #1,2,3 IRT Trains stop at 96th Street
COST:         $75.00 per participant



About Bill

Bill Williams is a director, teacher and private acting coach.  While teaching acting in the highly regarded theater department at Trinity School in Manhattan, he also directed over 60 productions at Trinity and in New York.   Many of his students have gone on to professional lives as working actors in film, on television, on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the country.  More are working as successful writers, directors, composers, and stage managers, acting teachers and in arts management. They frequently cite Bill as an inspiration in their artistic lives. 

Early in his career in New York, while working as an actor, Bill discovered his real passion was teaching and directing.  He studied directing at Columbia University with George Ferencz and later at NYU with Carl Weber.  More recently Bill was part of the Teacher’s Development Program at The Actor’s Center where he had the good fortune to study with Ron Van Lieu, Christopher Bayes, Slava Dolgachev, William Esper and Michael Miller.  He followed that with further clown and commedia under Christopher Bayes. 

Bill studied acting at The Warren Robertson Studio with Larry Moss, Warren Robertson and Michael Karm.  He took musical comedy class with Larry Moss and Betty Buckley.

At Trinity Bill was given a Creative Teaching Grant and a Paul Balduc Faculty Fellowship.  He was selected for two NEH Seminars:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bowdoin College led by Prof. Herb Coursen and Shakespeare’s Hamlets at Columbia University with David Scott Kastan, a general editor of the Arden Shakespeare.  He was also chosen as a participant in Multicultural Shakespeare, an NEH Institute at Columbia University with Profs. David Kastan, Richard McCoy and James Shapiro.  He graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. degree in Psychology.

Other work in New York includes teaching theater with the National Dance Institute founded by Jacques d’Amboise, on camera instruction at both Weist-Barron School of Television and Actors in Advertising, and as a production advisor for the Peter Rosen Productions Cine Golden Eagle award-winning Sing Joyfully.

Before coming to New York Bill was a founder/producer/director of Andy’s Summer Playhouse, in New Hampshire,  Among its many proud achievements, Andy’s commissioned and produced four pieces by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (Rabbit Hole), David Lindsay-Abaire.


 Exploring Creativity  is a workshop to rediscover and reawaken imaginative play and to enhance facility in  problem solving.  It provides a safe atmosphere where participants can abandon preconceived notions of their limitations and explore their creative potential. It is based on the conviction that creativity can be encouraged, nurtured, and developed.  Creativity results not just from thinking with our heads, but from moving our bodies and feeling with our hearts, the joyful abandon of play. The workshop is about making and taking the time to give ourselves up to openness and wonder.

Theater is the medium, because it asks us to think, communicate and create with our whole bodies. The workshop employs theater games, improvisation, movement and acting exercises. Participants are presented problems, questions.  The solutions take the form of dramatic pieces, shared with other workshop participants. Although participants will be asked to perform, this is not an acting class. Actors and non-actors alike will profit from it.  The workshop takes advantage of the synergy that occurs when people with different professional skills, people from different walks of life, work together.
Exercises are arranged in a progression to help build confidence and freedom of expression as the workshop moves along.  Participants collaborate in the generation, organization, and presentation of each solution, each a bit of play, each a bit of a play.  While everyone takes turns as originators, performers, and audience throughout the workshop, the focus is on creation: the generation of new ideas and original solutions.  The process and the freshness of response are as important as the product.  Humor, laughter, and fun are important components of the process.   The goal is a revived sense of spontaneity, flexibility, resourcefulness and generosity to sustain us in both everyday life and whatever the workplace may hold.

June 30 Session Schedule

9:30 – 10:00                        Arrive, meet & greet, settle in

10:00 – 12:30                      Morning session, including short break part way through

12:30 – 1:30                        Lunch Break

1:30 - 4:00                           Afternoon session, including short break part way through

4:00                                     Opportunity to socialize

What People Who Have Worked
 With Bill Say

Your workshop was a good brain push for me this summer. I am teaching very differently this year, for a variety of reasons. I am giving students more room for creativity and exploration. I am differentiating instruction and more often than not, telling them I don't know what to do, what do they think? Class is a workshop of ideas, and we work together. It's messier. It works in part because my school head happens to have made the commitment to differentiation and is not afraid of the messiness, and because our drama teacher is supporting workshop activities in the classroom. Anyway, I want to thank you for helping to give me the push and inspiration.   Kim Allen

Bill Williams deserves single-handed credit for bringing me into the world of acting.  He scooped up an injured ballerina, brushed her off, and recruited her for plays and acting classes, changing the course of her life forever.  His fearless, passionate, magnanimous approach to teaching and his tireless dedication to his students make him one of the great teachers of all time.  His daring as a director exposes young people to exciting works that broaden their frames of reference and give them precocious polish.  Working with him helped me get into Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.  To this day, what I learned in his classes serves me as an actor. I owe him an eternal debt.  Lucia Brawley

Bill Williams was my first and, I believe, most crucial teacher. The environment that he created for his acting students was simultaneously rigorous and free - the lessons and examples designed to help each individual find their unique artistic voice. Professionally, I believe these formative experiences allow me to approach role after role with a sense of intense curiosity and personal freedom. If you are lucky enough to have a teacher or director like this, you know you are going to have a great opportunity to succeed.  G.M. Gianino

Bill is not only an excellent acting coach, but a truly beautiful human being who genuinely loves the theatre, actors, and teaching acting.  He fully appreciates how hard the art of acting is - but never for a second when learning from him, do you fail to remember how fun it is to play.  I came to Bill after deciding to quit my job as a
Mergers and Acquisitions lawyer to follow my dream of living in the shoes of other people on stage, in front of a camera - and sought out his help in preparing my monologue for entry into a two-year acting conservatory program...I was proud, crazed, and really, plain scared. Bill has an amazing intuition for people and human behavior - he
sensed my racing nerves and in a hot second had an uncanny ability to get them to just shut up already so that we could work and so that my talent and spontaneity could soar through the arch of the monologue. I distinctly remember leaving my meeting with him with a feeling of other-worldly confidence, and most importantly, with two feet firm on
the ground.  Thank you Bill!   Nelle Watkins

I was so shy as a child that I pretty much never opened my mouth in public.  My dad had this brilliant idea to send me to theatre classes on Saturdays.  I was 8. This man who taught the classes, Bill Williams, decided to give me the lead part in the very sophisticated play we were doing (about a worm) and somehow I came to life! I don’t know how he knew what to do but he did. He changed my life, no question. Bill opened me up to the world that was to become my home: the stage. I was lucky enough to work with him through high school as well and he has since supported all my professional work since. To have a mentor who you know made you into the person you are is no small thing. I am indebted to him forever.    Najla Said

Bill Williams taught me how to be authentic as an actor-- which is probably the most important lesson I ever learned.  Any performance that is not rooted in truth and authenticity will inevitably fall short.  His methods are charmingly unorthodox, but that is what made the learning process memorable and the lessons stick.  He sees artists as gifts and is therefore willing to tirelessly work with them to achieve what he wants and/or what they want.  His belief in his students is palpable and--in the face of the industry and its challenges--invaluable.  I love Bill Williams.  He is one of the best teachers I have ever had.  He possesses a rare mixture of intellect and passion and acting is as much as a science as it is an art.  The best acting, for me, requires this balance that Bill possesses.   Lena Georgas

Bill Williams is one of the most supportive, enthusiastic and inventive directors and teachers I know.  I've seen him get Broadway-caliber performances out of people who I previously thought might've had no business being on a stage.  I've seen plays and musicals he's directed, sometimes of even the most problematic scripts, reduce an audience to tears and get them on their feet cheering by the end.  And as a songwriter, I literally owe my career to him, since it was for one of his productions that I first took a shot at writing my own original music.  I can't remember whether I had the temerity to suggest it, or if he had enough confidence in me to ask (more likely it was the latter), but I wound up composing about 15 minutes of incidental background score for a play he was directing... and even before I won a prize for it a few weeks later, I already knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.  Bill's like that - he helps you tap into talents not only that you never know you had, but in some cases, that you never had an inkling you even wanted to pursue.  There aren't that many people in any field, let alone one as competitive and risky as theatre, who have that kind of unwavering belief in others, and who can have that kind of powerful, transformative effect.  
David Kirshenbaum - Composer

Bill Williams is a pleasure to work with as a director.  A consummate
professional, he approaches the text with openness and creativity,
and his collaborators with sensitivity and respect.  His generosity of
spirit conveys his true love of theater and the benefits it can bring
to the world.  I hope to work with him again soon.
Anne Nelson  Journalist, Author, Playwright


1 comment:

  1. This looks great! Can't wait to hear how it goes!