The goal of our Compass Lab is to explore modes of performance outside of naturalism and emotional realism in order to expand the boundaries of performance. It is part scene-study class, part technique based-class, part rotating masterclass, part experimental lab.
We try to build an environment for exploring that is safe, welcoming, encouraging and honest. A laboratory environment is crucial to artistic development, as once you attach a public performance to any workshop the clock starts ticking and everything shifts to performance mode, stifling innovation.
Textual application is important as well. It's one thing to be able to explore a new way of working, but if you can't apply it to a text it's not as helpful. Much of the scene study will be testing ways to apply the exploration work we've done to texts.
Naturalism is not bad in and of itself, but it is important to have highly talented artists with a more broad background. The ultimate irony about Stanislavsky's system is that he himself rejected it. Taking a cue from the explorations that Brook, Mnouchkine, Grotowski, and Boal undertook separately, we know what does not work well. That's is our starting point.