M.C. Richards, floor plan of John Cage's Theater Piece No. 1 (1952)

Transformation through Training

SITI is happy to announce our second Transformation through Training Convening, an international gathering of artists and scholars whose work has been influenced by the two actor training methods shared at SITI, the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and the Viewpoints.

Our goals for each iteration of Transformation through Training are to examine the histories of these training methods, to explore their potential impact on future generations of theater makers, and to create space for exchange among an international community of practitioners and teachers. Our first convening focused on the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. The 2018 Alumni Convening turns to postmodernism and the Viewpoints, examining them through the lens of SITI’s current research on John Cage’s body of work. Come practice, train, and create with SITI, building work inspired by the legacy of Cage and Black Mountain College, an influential school and space for artistic exchange that flourished from 1933-1957.

Artists, educators, and scholars who have previous experience training with SITI are invited to attend this vital weekend of training, conversation, and performance. Participants will contribute to the first rehearsal and showing of SITI’s Theater Piece No. 1, directed by Anne Bogart. In addition, all participants will receive one ticket to SITI’s performance of Chess Match No. 5 on Friday, June 22. On-campus housing and meal plans at Skidmore College are available for an additional fee. Please see below for a complete schedule of the weekend’s events.

Joining us for the weekend are Kay Larson, John Cage’s biographer, and Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust. 

Kay Larson offers a particular and unique insight into John Cage, as his biographer. She has been an art critic and contributing editor (New York Magazine 1980-1994); freelance critic and writer (the New York Times, Vogue, Architectural Digest, and many others); editor (Managing Edictor, Curator: The Museum Journal, 2003-2014); and educator (Writing Tutor, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, New York, 2002-2010). Since becoming a staff writer for The Real Paper in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1972, she has written articles and criticism for a range of publications: museum catalogues, art magazines, newspapers, and the popular press. Her award-winning biography, Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists, was published in 2012 by Penguin Press.

Laura Kuhn is a writer, performer, scholar and arts administrator. Kuhn worked closely with Cage over many years on a variety of projects, including his first full-scale opera Europeras 1 & 2. Upon Cage’s death in 1992, she teamed up with Merce Cunningham, Anne d’Harnoncourt and David Vaughan to found the John Cage Trust. In her capacity as Executive Director of the Trust, Laura travels extensively, lecturing and conducting performance workshops all around the world.


Registration is now open! Apply here.


Participating in Theater Piece No. 1

Alumni Convening participants are invited to join SITI Company in our first rehearsal and performance of Theater Piece No. 1. Anchored by SITI’s Chess Match No. 5, a play by Jocelyn Clarke based on conversations with John Cage, Theater Piece No. 1 will eventually include a series of interventions by artists from diverse disciplines who, like SITI, have been influenced by Cage’s ideas. During the Convening, participants will join SITI Company members in experimenting with the structure of this piece, performing a happening together under the direction of Anne Bogart.

Each participant in the Convening is asked to prepare the following to contribute to Theater Piece No. 1:

- Your favorite John Cage quotation, anecdote, or story, memorized

- A movement phrase in 10 parts (3-5 minutes)

- Be ready to share your thoughts on how John Cage has influenced your life and work


2018 Alumni Convening: Schedule of Events (Subject to Change)

Friday, June 22

  • 2-4 PM: Check in at JKB Theater
  • 4-6 PM: Reading/Listening Room open (optional)
  • 6:30-7:00: Late check in available on request at the Case Center
  • 7:30 PM: Performance of SITI’s Chess Match No. 5.
  • 9:00 PM: Opening reception 

Saturday, June 23

  • 10 AM - 12 PM: Training session #1: Suzuki & Viewpoints
  • 12-1 PM: Conversation #1: John Cage
  • 2:15-6:30 PM: Set context for and rehearse Theater Piece No. 1 
  • 8:00-10:00 PM: Performance of Theater Piece No. 1 at the JKB Theater

Sunday, June 24

  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Training session #2: Suzuki & Viewpoints
  • 12:00-1:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm: Conversation #3: Debrief of Theater Piece No. 1 and Closing of the Convening
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm: Housing Checkout



Registration: Deadlines and Fees

Transformation through Training is open to any artist or scholar who has previous training experience with SITI. Thank you for your interest in joining us for this exciting weekend!

  • Registration opens: February 15
  • Early bird payment deadline: April 30
  • Registration closes: May 25
  • Deadline for withdrawal and refund: May 25

** Please note that space is limited, and participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; please apply early.

Registration Fees:

  • Early bird (on or before April 30): $275
  • Full registration fee (after April 30): $400
  • On-campus housing & meal plan: $250

** Participants may choose to seek housing off-campus if desired. A list of hotels in Saratoga Springs is available here. Commuter participants can purchase meals at the dining hall on a pay-as-you-go basis using cash or credit card (Breakfast=$8.50, Lunch=$11.25, Dinner=$14.25). 

Registered participants will receive further details about arrival, schedules, and materials to prepare in late May via email. Please reach out to clare@siti.org with any questions. 


Travel to Skidmore College 

Skidmore College is located at 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY. You should check in at the JKB Theater between 2-4 PM to receive your ID and keycard. Please contact us at convening@siti.org if you need to arrange for late check in, which is available from 6:30-7:00 PM on Friday, June 22.


Trains to Albany and Saratoga Springs leave from Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, and tickets are available at Amtrak.com. You can take the A, C, or E train to 34th Street- Penn Station. The A train connects to JFK Airport via Airtrain (about 1.5 hours from airport to Midtown Manhattan via subway), and the E train connects to LaGuardia airport via AirTrain (about 1 hour from airport to midtown Manhattan via subway). 

Driving from New York City to Skidmore takes about 3.5 hours.


You can fly into Albany airport or take the Amtrak train into Albany. A cab from the Albany airport or train station to Skidmore takes about 45 minutes and will cost about $75 before tip.



You can take the Amtrak train or a Greyhound Bus to the Saratoga Springs Train Station. Taxis are available at the train station. The Saratoga Springs Amtrak station is just a few minutes away from campus.



Please contact us at convening@siti.org with any questions.

Registration is now open! Apply here. 

Early bird payment deadline: April 30

Registration Deadline: May 25


Please contact us at convening@siti.org.