Lead by Mario Biagini, the Open Program is also composed of:
- Lloyd Bricken (USA)
- Robin Gentien (France)
- Agnieszka Kazimierska (Poland)
- Felicita Marcelli (Italy)
- Ophelie Maxo (France)
- Luciano Mendes de Jesus (Brazil)
- Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez (Argentina)
- Graziele Sena (Brazil)
- Suellen Serrat (Brazil)
Lloyd Bricken studied classic languages and philosophy at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he also founded and served as president of “Theater Chrystostomos”. He went on to perform in numerous productions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and his native Birmingham, Alabama. Notable roles have been Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Nickles in “J.B.”, Werner Heisenberg in “Copenhagen”, and Prior in “Angels in America”. Following a decisive encounter with the writings of Jerzy Grotowski in 2001, Lloyd returned to Alabama to research traditional music as alternative sources for performance craft, during which time he also toured regionally and nationally, writing songs and playing electric bass with “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and “Model Citizen.” Lloyd says (with Hafiz): “I am the bag lady of every city, I have a spot on every street, my sacks are full of holiness, so I have come to peddle, to touch your feet.”.
Robin was born near Paris at the end of the 20th century. At the age of 7, he began to play guitar. Before joining the Workcenter, in September 2012, he was studying theater, literature and philosophy, and playing the electric guitar in Jazz, Funk, Rock and African music groups. But this did not really scratch his itch. Led by a strong need for concrete action and a strong desire of going beyond his own possibilities and capabilities he found in the Workcenter a terrain to improve and widen his own musical research while catching a glimpse of new horizons.
Agnieszka Kazimierska’s desire to commune with people and investigate that which is vibrant and human led her to academic psychology and nonacademic theater. Her formal education concentrated on psychology studies. Agnieszka’s other interests for a long time have been strongly connected to the arts in diverse forms. Attending different workshops and acting study groups, Agnieszka was developing her skills in the performing arts: dance theater, traditional singing, and acting. For a number of years she was working with Anna Haracz (contemporary dancer), Jacek Ozimek (traditional music group leader), Zespół Źdźbło (a traditional singing music group) with a leadership of Agnieszka Błonkiewicz. In 2009 she graduated from the University of Gdańsk with a Masters in psychology after which she left aside academia and continues the research with the Open Program Team.
Felicita Marcelli was born and raised in Rome. She completed her pedagogical studies, graduating as an educator. She worked in various projects of aid and support to teenagers and children in critical and marginal situation and social risk. Later, she studied counseling techniques and the bioenergetic method of Alexander Lowen. She started training as an actor in Rome and took part in independent theatre productions. In 2005 she was in Chicago training English language skills at Dominican University (River Forest) and taking acting classes at Chicago Actors Studio. In 2007 she joined the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards becoming a member of the Open Program Team lead by Mario Biagini.
Ophelie Maxo grew up between France, the Ivory Coast and Tunisia. She had just finished her theater school in France (École Nationale du Théâtre de Bretagne – TNB), when she joined the Workcenter in January 2013. At TNB she worked with Stanislas Nordey, who is the director of the school, but she also had the chance to work with many different directors like Eric Didry, Chiara Guidi and François Tanguy. It is thanks to the latter that she met the Workcenter. She performed in a piece about the story of the Living Theater entitled Living!, directed by Stanislas Nordey and in Chef d’oeuvre, directed by Simon Deletang. She also took part in a movie Dechirés / Graves directed by Vincent Dieutre. These school years brought her so many different experiences and understandings of the theater arts that she realized she will need a lifetime to embrace what it is. Then it quickly dawned on her that the most precious thing for that will be to never stop learning.
Luciano Mendes de Jesus
Luciano was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1975. He began to study theater in 1994 and music in 1997. He graduated as an actor from the State University of Campinas in 2007 and, in 2012, completed his formation in percussion at the State Music School of São Paulo.
He joined the Grupo Galeria4, performing in hostels, prisons and the streets of São Paulo and other Brazilian cities. In 2011 Luciano took part in work sessions led by Mario Biagini at ECUM in Belo Horizonte. Meeting the work carried by the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards become a rich inspiration in his own musical and theatrical research, and it gave him the impulse to participate in the selection held by the Workcenter’s Open Program in 2012. He is currently doing a Master’s degree in Music at the University of São Paulo and focusing his thesis on the musical development in the work of Jerzy Grotowski. He is simultaneously developing his own musical research as a member of the Workcenter’s Open Program.
Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez
Alejandro was born in 1980 in Rosario, Argentina. He has been trained as an actor at the “Escuela Provincial de Teatro 3013” in Rosario, Argentine (2001), and completed the postgraduate course “Academic Actualization in Theory of Art” (2003-2005). As a circus artist, he specializes in the slack rope technique since 2003. In Rosario, he created and participated in several groups of theater and circus, and started directing his own shows in 2004. He moved to Europe to perform with his own company, basing himself in Brussels to continue his studies of slack rope and to participate in a creative project at the Espace Catastrophe. He participated in the “XIV Session of the Eurasian Theater University ” directed by Eugenio Barba with Franco Ruffini, Nicola Savarese and Ferdinando Taviani in Ravenna, Italy (2006) and in the “Odin Week 2007” organized by the Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium and the Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark. Alejandro has been with the Open Program since 2007. Aside from performing, Alejandro created and edited “Señales en la Hoguera: Theatre retrospective magazine” based in the research of the history of groups and directors of Argentinean Theater.
Graziele was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She began studying theater in 2010 attending free theater courses in the city of Belo Horizonte. In 2011 she entered the technical school of theater in CEFAR (Centro de Formação Artística Fundação Clovis Salgado, Center of Artistic Formation Foundation of Clovis Salgado), also located in Belo Horizonte. In 2012, having participated in the Selection Session in Belo Horizonte, she entered the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards.
In 2003, Suellen began her contact with theater as a member of the actors group at a local cultural center in the city of Volta Redonda in the state of Rio de Janeiro, from where she hails. In her life trajectory and her engagement with the arts, she looks for paths that reinforce and feed her desire to keep walking. In 2010 she began her academic studies in Theatrical Interpretation at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In 2012 she participated in the Selection Session for the Workcenter’s Open Program in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and joined the team.
This text can be found at the Workcenter website: “Open Program: Biographies”