In just a few weeks, we will be welcoming award-winning performance artist and instructor, Scott Wings, to HCAC! Scott Wings will be heading the new Devised Theatre Masterclass: Suzuki & Viewpoints in July, where he will be instilling his theatre training in Suzuki and Veiwpoints methods. Wings has also trained in Japan with the longest running Butoh organization, Dairakudakan (Camel Battleship), in New York with SITI Company and in Australia with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre.
In this interview, Scott Wings gives insight on his background, teaching philosophy and his experiences in the theatre.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi I’m Scotty. I’m not sure what I am. This flesh bag keeps reminding me to feed it but I can’t escape the sneaking suspicion I have some other purpose. So, I make lots of art that usually relates to how lost I am on this little strange planet. I’m glad to meet you. Let’s play video games and watch sci-fi movies.
What is one thing that we don’t know just by looking at you?
Like many Australians, I have an interesting ancestry. My great-great-grandmother was Spanish, her husband was Welsh, my other great-great-grandmother was Aboriginal, her husband was Irish. Being Australian means a lot of hidden DNA.
How old were you when you first started getting involved with theatre?
12 years old, playing a hairdresser in a school show.
Tell us your favourite memory as a performer.
I remember I farted loudly once during a show and then used it in the performance. It was exhilaratingly strange. But hey, what was I gonna do, just pretend it didn’t happen?
Who is your favourite theatre practitioner?
I’m really enjoying reading Frantic Assembly‘s book on devising theatre by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett. So Scott Graham at the moment. However, I think Anne Bogart still rings in my head as a truly influential practitioner of the arts.
What do you teach?
Suzuki and Viewpoints training. However, I am beginning to be influenced by flow, mime, clowning, immersive theatre and more styles that seem to sit within this training. So, I have begun to throw out rule books with teaching while still maintaining a strong foundation of Suzuki and Viewpoints to leap into ideas.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Play Hard and Make It Happen.
What skills, values or mindset do you most want to impart to your students?
What is a habit and what is a choice? A habit on stage or in creativity is less constructive than the power of a strong choice. This is also true for life.
Tell us your favorite memory as a teacher.
A boy in a grade 5 class I was teaching ‘Performance and Poetry’ to read a piece one day. I found out later he was what’s known as a selective mute. Which meant that was the first time he had spoken in a year. He did so in front of an audience after I had worked with him.
What do you wish you’d known before you started your journey as a theatre maker?
Success is impermanent. Art is forever.
What do you hope for the future of theatre to be like?
Inclusive and open to a variety of influences. From the people that create it to the types of theatre created. Sci-fi site-specific theatre made by a poet in a planetarium where the audience has to wear spacesuits? Yes please.