Act Globally: Professor Martinez Invited to Teach Japanese Acting Method in Slovenia
Woven into the fabric of academic life, professors at CSUSM are active scholars and artists, who prepare students for entering a global society. Professor of theatre Marcos Martinez put that vision into action this summer at the National Theatre of Slovenia, where he was invited to share his expertise on the Suzuki Method of Acting.The Suzuki Method of Acting develops an actor’s inner physical sensibilities and builds their will, stamina and concentration. Techniques are centered on the use of feet in relation to one’s center, which if practiced consistently will heighten the actor’s awareness, energy and control on stage.A native of New Mexico, and direct descendant of the legendary historical figure Padre Antonio José Martínez, Marcos Martínez joined the CSUSM faculty in 1992. Following his professional training in drama at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, and his specialized training in Toga Mura, Japan with the world-renowned Tadashi Suzuki, Martínez co-founded La Compañía de Teatro de Alburquerque, where he served as its Artistic Director until coming to North County.Although trained and proficient in multiple methods of acting, the Suzuki Method has become central to his career as an actor and director, and he has returned numerous times to Japan for more advanced training and certification. And while the Suzuki Method of Acting is internationally respected, few are qualified to teach it; Martínez is currently among only a very small group of individuals recognized by Mr. Suzuki himself, and the Japan Performing Arts Foundation, to offer such training.His elite status has resulted in invitations to teach Suzuki workshops to theatre students and acting professionals worldwide, including Bosnia, Croatia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, China and Poland.This May, coinciding with the third Annual Prestopi/Crossings Festival in Maribor, Slovenia, Martínez was invited to teach a 10-day workshop to students of Slovenia’s national theatre school. These students, recognized as the future leaders and innovators of their nation’s theatre, endured the physical and mental rigors of Martínez’s training and were grateful for the experience.“My focus and will have strengthened,” noted one student, “and I am thinking about and observing a lot of my habits outside of the Suzuki class.”Another affirmed “I like the idea of reaching a calmer and more sensible me through physical exercises. When doing these exercises I get the feeling of inner strength. And I already feel more relaxed and the quality of my focus has increased.”For Martínez, who was the only professional from the U.S. invited to participate, his experience ranks among the top of his globetrotting career.“From the scores of workshops I have done in different countries, this was one of the best groups with whom I have done the Suzuki Method of Actor training workshop,” he noted. “They were highly motivated, eager to learn what I had to offer, and recognized the value of the work within the professional context of their education as actors.”The success of Martínez’s Suzuki workshop resulted in an immediate invitation from the head of the acting program to spend a semester teaching at the National Theatre Academy in Ljublana, Slovenia’s capital, in 2013.An unforgettable highlight of the trip for Martínez was the opportunity to attend a panel discussion entitled “Why do we need Dialogue and Solidarity in the Global Crisis?” featuring the Dalai Lama and fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Rigoberta Menchu, Muhammad Yunus, and Lučka Kajfež.Martínez is currently traveling in Italy, before returning to North County to begin rehearsals for the New Village Arts’ production of Much Ado About Nothing, in which he has been cast.