Professor of Theater
Theater And Dance
Memorial Hall - 608
Improvisation is a fundamental tool used by dancers, musicians, actors, writers, and other artists to explore the language of a medium and to develop new work. An interdisciplinary introduction to some of the primary forms of improvisation used in dance and theater. Content includes theater games, narrative exercises, contact improvisation, and choreographic structures.
Introduces students to the major principles of play direction, including conceiving a production, script analysis, staging, casting, and rehearsing with actors. Students actively engage directing theories and techniques through collaborative class projects and complete the course by conceiving, casting, rehearsing, and presenting short plays of their choosing. A final research and rehearsal portfolio is required.
Davis Robinson teaches acting, directing, and courses in Theater Styles, Comedy, Improvisation, Ensemble Devising, Physical Theater, and Shakespeare. He has worked professionally as an actor and director around New England for over twenty years in film, television, and on stage. He often directs for The Shakespeare Theater at Monmouth, most recently The Illusion, Our Town, Blithe Spirit, and Antony and Cleopatra. He directed Waiting for Godot at the Theater Project in Brunswick, and worked with the Columbian-American clown trio, The Fabulous Problemas, to develop their new show. In 2007 he was movement coach for the world premiere of Leslie Epstein’s King of the Jews in Boston. Recent shows for Bowdoin include Light/Dark, End of Summer, A Little Night Music, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.
He trained in Paris with Jacques LeCoq, and is particularly interested in movement-based theater, forgotten American plays, and the creation of original productions adapted from films, novels, and current events.
For several years he worked closely at Emerson College with renowned voice teacher Kristin Linklater. He is also founder and artistic director of the award-winning Beau Jest Moving Theater with whom he acts, writes, directs, and tours nationwide, including runs Off-Broadway and appearances at Lincoln Center and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. Beau Jest recently staged three Tennessee Williams world-premieres for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, and toured the rarely seen original one-act, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real. They are currently touring an original comic-noir fantasy, Apt 4D. In June, 2015, Professor Robinson published a new book with Palgrave Macmillan on developing original material called A Practical Guide to Ensemble Devising.
His book The Physical Comedy Handbook was published by Heinemann in 1999. His current research interests include Tennessee Williams, objects in action, and new methods for combining text and physicality in the devising process. Davis studied movement and improvisation for many years with Tony Montanaro at the Celebration Barn Theater, where he teaches devising every summer.