The American avant garde movement theatre company Azzizz Theatre(pronounced "as is"). We got our name from our desire to make theatre that showed life az it iz. Based originally in New York City, this innovative group developed a fusion of acting, movement, and play writing. Azzizz is dedicated to the creation and presentation of original, thought provoking, theatre that explores the human condition, and celebrates both our differences and the common threads that unite us all. The company portrays life as a balanced mix of good and evil; love, compassion, and strength interacting with fear, hatred and greed.
Azzizz lets the audience witness the lives of other human beings and to intimately share their experience. It is our hope that this exchange will not only leave us all richer but will encourage better understanding, acceptance and tolerance among all people.
The company was founded by our artistic director, Robert Bellamy, who is also the company's resident playwright. Mr. Bellamy has worked extensively with: The Doug Elkins Dance Company, Touchstone Theatre, from Bethlehem PA, and The American Mime Theater, in NYC.
We are trying to tear down the imaginary barriers that seperate arts like dance, theatre, musicand playwriting. Azzizz develops its work through a unique creative process that fuses acting, movement, and play writing into socially significant and entertaining stories. A fundamental principle behind Azzizz Theatres creative process is the belief that all human beings motivations and desires can be distilled down to two areas. They are; we are all afraid of the unknown or death and we all want to be loved or accepted.
When we start to work on a new play the first thing we do is decide which one of these ideas the play about. Then we come up with a symbol to represent that thought in a narrative setting. A story with a universally understandable theme is then created. The performers then take their internal motivations and extend them out through the body's extremities into organic movement to create archetypal characters. This play writing process gives the characters activities and objectives that place them in a physical reality that alters the actors' perceptions and forces them to perceive the world from the characters point of view. We achieved this through the union of character alignment," facial expressions, and the internal rhythms, dynamics and motivations. This union of body, mind and objectives, produces empathy in the audience. The audience not only understands what the characters are going through but they feel the characters experiences. We are not trying to create a reality on stage but are instead trying to show a reflection of reality. As in life, this vision is sometimes clear, and at other times warped and out of focus.
So Azzizz lets the audience witness the lives of other human beings and to intimately share their experience. It is our hope that this exchange will not only leave us all richer but will encourage better understanding, acceptance and tolerance among all people.
Our acting technique tells stories with what we call organic movement. Organic movement is created by letting the internal life of the character flow out from the torso and into our bodies' extremities, through gestures or activities. If this internal life and the movement are in sync, then the movement becomes organic. We believe that when human beings watch organic movement they not only understand what is going on but they will feel it as well. For example, if somebody slips and falls to the ground the internal panic creates organic movement in their body. Anyone watching cannot help understanding internally what that person is experiencing. When the person hits the ground the observer will automatically respond to the other persons pain whether it's with a wince, a gasp or a giggle. We know how they feel because as human beings, we intimately share the same experiences, whether we have ever fallen that way or not. In sharing someone elses pain we can see our own. Only when we truly see ourselves are we able to change and grow.
Our plays deal with socially significant topics and try to strike a universal cord. In the case of The Shaft, we all know what its like to be stuck with people we dont know or like. We all fear, to varying degrees, tight, cramped, and suffocating spaces. We all have deep dark secrets that we keep hidden inside. We have all felt desire and rejection. We all, at times, question who we really are. In The Shaft each character lives out a series of fantasies that shows their internal transformations. We present these fantasies as dance segments. In the beginning all the fantasies come out of external traumas that each person suffers. Electrocution, an asthma attack, and being blinding by a shot of perfume in the face, throw each character into a fantasy world that reveals part of their subliminal self. Back in the real world each character does something to keep them all stuck to the dismay of the others. Breaking the phone, pulling out the emergency buzzer, and breaking the fan, they all contribute to they predicament. After hours of heat and too close a proximity to other human being they all make astonishing transformations of character.