Spotlight: Skidmore Summer Intensive

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On Facebook and here on the SITI Company blog, SITI has been spotlighting alumni of our many training programs. Today, we’re spotlighting a few artists who are some of our newest alumni. Shanna May Breen, Alberto Ruiz, and Luke Santy spent the month of June with us as part of our 2016 Summer Intensive at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Below, they share a little about what brought them to SITI and what’s inspiring them at the moment.


“I am a Dublin/London based Sceneographer and Director. Throughout my artistic practice and research, I have been mainly interested in examining the notions of the ‘Uncanny’ and ‘Scale’ in live contemporary performance. I most recently have been working in collaboration with Performing Architectures, an international collective that uses space and architecture as a stimulus to create form.

I decided to apply for the SITI Summer Intensive to investigate new ways of solidifying, rediscovering and examining my ongoing craft. These four weeks have certainly generated an arch into something new for me.

I mostly find myself inspired by visual art. I found Joseph Cornell’s collection of work displayed in the Royal Academy of Art in London extremely effecting. It was a curious collection and compression of a single imagination. I think about it all the time.”

- Shanna May Breen

I am passionate about the processes in the performing arts where the actor’s body is the cornerstone of creation. Between dance training, yoga, physical theater and traditional Asian theater, I have always been in search of what might be a provocation and a challenge for both the creator and the audience.

I came to this workshop with the SITI Company to continue feeding the tools that allow me to have an honest work, in a context where discipline and creative flexibility could coexist. I came here attracted by the paradoxical relation between Suzuki and View Points training, and the possible electrical shock which may arise between these two approaches. I came to experience other logics in the theater work and enrich, question and renew my own logic. I came to take inspiration from this Theatre Company experienced that gives greater emphasis to the permanent training of the actor as an indispensable condition to be an artist.

Dancing with Death, the Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun has been very inspiring. The use of space and time is fascinating, provocative. The encounter between tradition and modernity come together in this work.”

- Alberto Ruiz

My name is Luke Santy and I’m a Brooklyn-based musician and composer. In addition to freelance sound design work I’m also Co-Artistic Director of Little Did Productions, where we’re dedicated to creating innovative and exemplary puppet-based theater for audiences of all ages. I came to SITI to explore theater creation from a design perspective; to create work with sound or tech as the catalyst for text and movement as opposed to the other way around. The Viewpoints, in particular, are a fascinating lens for improvised sound, and the Composition classes have allowed me to learn a lot about collaboration and creation. Recently I was inspired by a show called Vine of the Dead by Jim Findlay. It was a beautiful marriage of text and tech, immersive and performative. During this intensive we’ve talked a lot about how interesting simple things can be, and I think that can be extrapolated from a single body to a single sound or light cue. Vine was a meditation on basic human questions, with the answers coming in forms including projection, surround sound and simple mechanisms - reminding me how present humanity and performance can be even in post-human forms.”

- Luke Santy


Keep up with our blog to read and learn about more SITI Alumni and what they’re up to by following SITI’s blogs at siti.org/blog. If there’s an alum you want an update on, email us at alumniupdates@siti.org!