Professor of Theater
Theater And Dance
Memorial Hall - 608
Experienced student actors, dancers, and musicians collaborate to devise an original performance event. Examines the history of collective creation and the various emphases different artists have brought to that process. Immerses students in the practice of devising, stretching from conception and research to writing, staging, and ultimately performing a finished piece.
Engagement in the presentation of a full-length work for public performance with a faculty director or choreographer. Areas of concentration within the production may include design, including set, light, sound, or costume; rehearsal and performance of roles; service as assistant director or stage manager. In addition to fulfilling specific production responsibilities, students meet weekly to synthesize work. Students gain admission to Theater 1700 either through audition (performers) or through advance consultation (designers, stage managers, and assistant directors). Students register for Theater 1700 during the add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. Students are required to commit a minimum of six hours a week to rehearsal and production responsibilities over a period of seven to twelve weeks; specific time commitments depend upon the role the student is assuming in the production and the production schedule. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit. May be repeated a maximum of four times for credit, earning a maximum of two credits.
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.