The Performance Workshop was created by director, educator, theorist, and editor Richard Schechner (b. 1934). The origins of this approach to performer training and group collaboration extend back to the 1950s, even before his work with The Performance Group (TPG). Schechner continued to develop the training as an independent workshop, at first in the 1980s and 1990s in the Department of Performance Studies in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU), where he was a professor from 1967 to 2017, and with members of East Coast Artists (ECA), a theatre company he has led since 1992. Shortly after Rasaboxes was introduced to TPW’s extensive catalog of exercises in the mid-1990s, Schechner began to pass on the teaching of the work to ECA members and others who, in turn, have continued to teach and develop its pedagogy while maintaining a strong connection to its core practices and foundational principles.
Rasaboxes—a featured set of exercises—is an interdisciplinary approach for training emotional expressivity through the use of breath, body, voice, movement, and sensation. It brings together: