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Dr Cass Fleming BA, MA, PhD

Staff details

PositionLecturer
Email c.fleming (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7078 5110
Dr Cass Fleming BA, MA, PhD

I currently convene Processes of Performance: The Ensemble and Processes of Performance: Encounters with Space for our first year students.  I also convene the bespoke Personal and Professional Development Programme for the undergraduate students in our department and supervise third year Dissertation Projects.  In addition to this I am the Senior Tutor for undergraduate students.

The BA Personal and Professional Development Programme has been developed with colleagues in the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurialism and the Careers Service and we deliver bespoke workshops for our Drama and Theatre Arts students to help enhance their learning experience and prepare them for work in the cultural industry after graduation.  In previous years I have also convened, and taught on, many courses including: Scenography, Theatre Making 1, Questions of Performance, Theatre Making 2 and Theatre Making 3.  At postgraduate level I teach on the MA Applied Drama and supervise a number of PhD students.  

I am a Theatre Director and teacher of acting, directing and devising.  I trained at WAC, Goldsmiths, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and obtained a PhD on the use of play in actor training addressing the work of Chekhov and Bing under the supervision of Professor Ramsay Burt and Mike Huxley. Over the past twenty-five years I have undertaken training in a range of physical practices, including acting, dance, mime, mask, yoga and also Chekhov Technique with Graham Dixon and David Zinder.  I worked with ENO’s Education, Community and Outreach team and as a freelance teacher of actors, directors and devised theatre-makers at Central School of Speech and Drama, Rose Bruford and Brunel University.  I also have taught Chekhov Technique to undergraduate and post-graduate students at Goldsmiths, Central School and to directors at the Royal National Theatre Studio and those involved with the Genesis project at the Young Vic Theatre.  My production experience as a director has included dance-theatre, radical adaptations of texts and devised embodied theatre.  Much of my current work is based on Michael Chekhov Technique and I am a Core Associate of MCUK (www.michaelchekhov.org.uk).  Ongoing work includes a tri-institutional research project that explores new uses of Chekhov Technique in the Twenty-first century (see research).

Teaching

Lecturer in Theatre & Performance Practice


Convenor, Processes of Performance: The Ensemble

Convenor, Processes of Performance: Encounters with Space

Convenor, BA Personal and Professional Development Programme

Tutor, third year Dissertation Projects

Chair of the Student Project Fund

Publications

‘The Michael Chekhov Centre UK Past, Present and Future: an Inter-Generational Dialogue.’  Co authors: Tom Cornford, Cass Fleming and Sinéad Rushe in Franc Chamberlain and Andrey Kirillov (eds), ‘Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-first Century: New Sources, New Contexts, New Perspectives.’ Theatre, Dance & Performance Training. Special issue 4.2, London: Routledge, 2013.

‘A Review of the Dance Ethnography Forum 2003’.  The Society for Dance Research, July 2003.  (ed.) Stacey Prickett, Roehampton University of Surrey.

 

Forthcoming

'Michael Chekhov Technique in the Twenty First Century: New Pathways'

Methuen Drama, 2017.

Editor: Dr Cass Fleming.  

Contributing authors: Dr Tom Cornford (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London), Dr Cass Fleming (Goldsmiths, University of London), Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr Roanna Mitchell (University of Kent), Sinéad Rushe (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London) and Daron Oram (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama).

 

Papers

02/2014 ‘Genealogies of Actor Training: The Work of Suzanne Bing’

Queen Mary Quorum Research Event

University of London

10/2009 ‘Michael Chekhov’s Embodied Play Methodology’

Goldsmiths Research Event

University of London

05/2009 ‘Chekhov’s Play Methodology’

De Montfort University Post-Graduate Research Event 

 

Industry Training

03/2013 Michael Chekhov Technique for Directors

Royal National Theatre Studio

 

Selected Performances

2006, 2002 Passed Between Us, Rubicon Performance Company

Directed and co-devised this production written by playwright SJ Griffin (Winner of the Verity Bargate Award) and actor / co-devisor Tamara Harrison.  Performed at The Gym, BAC, Chats Palace UK and at La Mama, Melbourne, Australia.

2004 Jarman Garden, Flaming Theatre

Worked with Ben Gove as a co-director on this production that was devised by the company based on his original concept.  Performed at the Riverside Studios, UK

2001 Recollections, Rubicon Performance Company

Directed and co-devised this production that was devised by the company based on the life and work of Marguerite Duras.  Performed at The Gym and the Cockpit Theatre UK.

2000 Creative Mistrust, Rubicon Performance Company

Directed and co-devised this production that was inspired by Peter Handke’s play Self-Accusation.  Performed at The Gym and the Cockpit Theatre UK

1997 Hotel, Second Stride

Assistant Director/Choreographer to Ian Spink.

Worked on this production devised and developed with playwright Caryl Churchill and composer Orlando Gough and the interdisciplinary company.  Performed at The Place and Manchester Dance House, UK 

Research Interests

  • Play in actor training and theatre making. In particular the techniques developed by Michael Chekhov, Suzanne Bing, Jacques Copeau, Jacques Lecoq and Joan Littlewood
  • Michael Chekhov Technique
  • Clown, mask and mime practice in the French tradition (Bing, the Dastés, Barrault, Lecoq, post Lecoq)
  • Embodied / Physical Theatre practice and history
  • Devised performance practice and history
  • Dance-theatre
  • European directorial practices of the twentieth and twenty first century
  • Radical pedagogy in actor training and theatre making
  • Practical research methodologies
  • Cross-arts performance

Recent research

Michael Chekhov in the Twenty First Century: New Pathways Project

This is a tri-institutional research project that involves Goldsmiths, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the professional organisation Michael Chekhov UK (www.michaelchekhov.org.uk).

The research team for this project includes:

Dr Tom Cornford (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London), Graham Dixon (MCUK), Dr Cass Fleming (Goldsmiths, University of London), Sarah Kane (MCUK), Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr Roanna Mitchell (University of Kent), Sinéad Rushe (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London), Martin Sharp (MCUK) and Daron Oram (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama).

This innovative project builds on current experiments and aims to bring together professional practitioners and scholars from various disciplines to investigate new uses of Chekhov’s techniques both within and beyond the theatre in the twenty first century.  The project seeks to explore how Chekhov’s techniques can now be used in contexts other than actor training designed for the interpretation of existing dramatic literature.  

The New Pathways Research and Training Group based at Goldsmiths was launched in 2013 to start to explore these areas and various practitioners have been involved since this time.

The outcomes of this project will be discussed in the forthcoming publication Michael Chekhov Technique in the Twenty First Century: New Pathways, Methuen Drama (2017). 

Publications

Performance

Jarman Garden
Fleming, Cass and Gove, B.. 2004. Jarman Garden. In: "Jarman Garden", Riverside Studios, 2/17/2004 - 3/6/2004.

Passed Between Us
Fleming, Cass and SJ, G.. 2002. Passed Between Us. In: "Passed Between Us", Battersea Arts Centre, 3/1/2002 - 3/30/2002.

Article

‘Michael Chekhov’s Embodied Play’ in Franc Chamberlain and Andrey Kirillov (eds), ‘Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-first Century: New Sources, New Contexts, New Perspectives.’
Fleming, Cass. 2013. ‘Michael Chekhov’s Embodied Play’ in Franc Chamberlain and Andrey Kirillov (eds), ‘Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-first Century: New Sources, New Contexts, New Perspectives.’. Theatre, Dance & Performance Training, 4(2), ISSN 1944-3927

‘The Michael Chekhov Centre UK Past, Present and Future: an Inter-Generational Dialogue.’ An edited selection of interviews with Sarah Kane, Graham Dixon and Martin Sharp. Co authors: Tom Cornford, Cass Fleming and Sinéad Rushe in Franc Chamberlain and Andrey Kirillov (eds), ‘Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-first Century: New Sources, New Contexts, New Perspectives.’
Fleming, Cass. 2013. ‘The Michael Chekhov Centre UK Past, Present and Future: an Inter-Generational Dialogue.’ An edited selection of interviews with Sarah Kane, Graham Dixon and Martin Sharp. Co authors: Tom Cornford, Cass Fleming and Sinéad Rushe in Franc Chamberlain and Andrey Kirillov (eds), ‘Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-first Century: New Sources, New Contexts, New Perspectives.’. Theatre, Dance & Performance Training, 4(2), ISSN 1944-3927