Simon is a performer, director and teacher.
He studied Literature and Theatre as a University and Trinity Scholar at Trinity College (University of Toronto), completed the two year professional course in performance and creation at Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (where he also completed LEM) and has received his MA Acting from Drama Centre, Central Saint Martins in London.
He has worked with choreographers Gerry Trentham, Denise Fujiwara and Maxine Heppner, mask-master Carlos Garcia Estevez, directors David Glass, Banuta Rubess, Steven Bush, Harry Burton and Kristine Landon-Smith and clown-master John Turner. In 2012 his devised clown-piece Halapatooloo was recognised for Outstanding Ensemble (NOW Magazine) at Toronto Fringe Festival. In Europe he has worked with Breadknives and Theatrical Niche (Metamorphosis), and is associate artist with David Glass Ensemble, SON, Created a Monster and Tooth+Nail theatre companies.
He currently works as an educator with David Glass Ensemble, leading an international Lecoq-based training program and is co-writing a book on devised theatre with David Glass.
Everything moves: this is the foremost principle of Jacques Lecoq’s performance pedagogy and the fundamental entry point into an experience of the natural world through our physicality. By playing within emotional, physical and imaginative responses to movement principles.
This workshop will explore the fundamentals of the movement dynamic of elements - water, air, earth and fire - through play and experimentation. Via guided explorations and shared improvisations within emotional, physical and imaginative responses to movement principles, followed by a short final sharing, we will seek to express how fire moves, characters of air, the undulations of water and the tempo of earth.
Waldorf Field School
Unedited and Without Names.
I had my expectations… Simon opened a door for us and we only had a glimpse of what that could be if we could have more time to do this. Watching the two other groups was so wonderful and so touching.
Today’s sharing of the three groups, was very very good, was unexpectedly good. In the process I experienced Simon’s trust to our creation, his respect to our creation: when we asked for his suggestion, he said no it’s your creation and you’ve got to have belief - it’s a total trust of the process. This is also an inspiration for our life, everyday, if we follow the flow of our life we could make better decisions.
I want to say that this five days I really gained a lot. I’m amazed by the whole process Simon led us through. Every time I went into the situation or the themes quite quickly, and the pictures Simon gave us many times I quickly got them. I’m a person who’s afraid of the stage, you seldom see me onstage, but this time every day I had the opportunity to be onstage. Also in the last sharing I was really nervous, so I really cherish these kinds of opportunities. I learned a lot. Also witnessing Simon’s suggestions I learnt a lot. In the end we shared three performances and I’m amazed by the result of these processes; the three of them really surprised me. I also have a question: I am very grateful for you and want to learn more from you, so I want to know, when can be the next time?
I have more understanding of myself and have developed myself. In the past I was quite a shy person, I wouldn’t voluntarily speak to people, and I wouldn’t speak to men; so this is the first time to do such an improvisation with such people and make a creation with my partners in the group. In the past, especially to men, I was afraid to have connections and interactions with men; but this time I find it quite magical that I can trust him, and be partners with him in exercises; also with him we had wonderful interactions in the play; in daily life I had different interactions with men; I suddenly realised that I can be different. And I like that, I like how that feels, and I hope to be here again. I’m really grateful to you, Simon.
I think you know I’m a university teacher in China. Many many young people, they think that they just play on the stage, and as long as they finish their words their work is done. This is something I have been struggling with and tried very hard to activate their energy and it didn’t work so well. This time I have been with the rest of you, you are all not actors, but today’s performance really touched me deeply. I saw that each one of you could use your body to complete the story, it touched me so deeply and I think you are wonderful Simon.
You used your approach to bring each one of us who are not actors to speak with our physical bodies and we presented such three different elements just in a few days and they did it so well and I really gained a lot.
I created a deep connection with each one of you and I’m reluctant to say goodbye. What touches me the most is that in these five days I have deeper thinking about my own teaching and will bring what I learnt here to my own students to be able to speak better with their bodies. I have never formed such deep friendship in such short time anywhere but here; I hope we can continue this enthusiasm for theatre play and I hope Luo Xuan can create more of these kinds of opportunities.
Simon has worked very hard in our work, his process of will: I want use this chance to invite you to join our group and do regular exercises…
I experienced a lot in the neutral mask: it helped me to break through all of my emotions so I can express my emotion through my body. I work in art therapy: I think through the neutral mask we can be in the experiences of the body. It’s a good help. My body experienced the neutral mask as a useful tool to experience emotions in my body. Sometimes I have too much judgements in too many things in life; to take away our face we can truly be ourselves. It’s like you brought us a lot of appetisers and I hope to go deeper.
Thank you, teacher, for not kicking me out. For me I did not learn much in the play itself, but it was quite a profound and different journey for me. It was my second time in drama: I was asking myself, why I didn’t pay any attention to all of these things that are happening here? I questioned myself, what have I been thinking in the past?
When I came here and I met Simon, I though what a young man. I was told that although he’s young, he’s got power. Since the first day, I experienced his power. When he was teaching us, he was not just working from the head he was working from his heart. He adjusted accordingly in his teaching and this touched me a lot. He never judged any of us. He never said, you should do this, you should do that. He had this energy, making us be able to find our best, the best of ourselves, and I like that a lot. Through him, I saw a picture: we are all here on the earth to play. Everything that happens can be appropriate, and I felt this urge to play. I think the state of being of the teacher, it doesn’t matter what he teaches, it’s who he is. I really hope you can continue this training with us, to support everyone to find this creative place of every person.
These five days I played really happily: I thank you Simon, I thank all of you for your acceptance. I really look forward for the continuance of this training.
I gained a lot: I really appreciate your acceptance to everyone, including She Lao She, I’ve been with him in many workshops and he was like this the whole time, really challenging for a lot of teachers. But I experienced your acceptance for him, and this acceptance for every one of us opened this energy field and this for me is a very good experience.
I wanted to bring elements of theatre play into therapeutic work, but actually in this process the door of theatre play has been opened to me. When I went for lunch today I noticed when I opened the door, ‘how do I do it?’ I observed myself! It was quite interesting. We did a creation really fast and in the whole process I really really enjoyed: it’s something that’s never happened before. It led me to realise that in many fields are without a clear goal or aim, I do it jut because it makes me happy - and I feel it is a beginning for me.
Looking back at the five days, what impressed me most is in the group work is the openness and acceptance, the discussions in the group; all was just pictures in our minds, and when we do it it became more clear. Simon appeared in many of our key moments and gave us good feedback. Then I gave myself another reason for moving myself to Waldorf Field School: in my home town I didn’t have this community.
I asked for leave from my work to be able to play here: this has nothing to do with my work, this play. My aim this year is to explore, expand my body. I enjoyed each moment in these five days: what impressed me most in the five days, is the people. Simon has a huge world held in his one world, it has everything: darkness, anxiety… different things… this can help me to better experience my life too. At the same time I was observer and listener: I was so surprised to see huge energy exposed in each one of you. This for me helped let go of the judgment; let go that my ‘life should be like this, my life should be like that’ - my life can be many other possibilities… maybe I don’t see this, but I am on my way. The whole day, my heartbeat has been a bit faster than usual. Thank you.
I didn’t expect it to be anything specific, I just wanted to be relaxed, and indeed I had my relaxation here. This year I asked for three days leave from my work, and I got that. The other experience these 5 days brought me, is that I can be better in the perspective of the observer to look at others and myself. When I got back I would be thinking about how I would work with my students, with their imaginations, their creativity. I will try. Thank you.
I really changed my idea first to see you as a young boy and then as a master. I experienced theatre play as a way to discover ourselves. I am two different people, wearing the mask and without. Wearing I was so confident.
Somebody did astrology to me and said my mission in life is to experience love, and now I know what it means.
I’m quite amazed that our physical body could be so expressive. Approximately 5 or 6 years ago I started to explore my way of communicating my inner world with the outer world. I was a journalist; I felt my head was a bit too strong and my body had been sleeping for too long. I think I’ve found a way to connect myself to the world. I had long given up using words to express, but now I think all of that can be accepted just like in the performance just now. Initially I was a bit sad that I was the only who couldn’t move; but later on I was really touched. In those moments I became bigger than myself. I’m looking forward to the next time.