Briony Horwitz is a performer, producer, theatre maker, director and collaborator. Graduating from UCT in 2006 she has worked in theatre for adults and children as well as in television and on film. Currently based in Johannesburg, she is a regular at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and continues to make work in Cape Town and Pretoria.
Briony is the performer and co-producer of the acclaimed one-woman-show A Girl Called Owl which has toured around South Africa and travelled to the Brighton Fringe Festival 2013 on their invitation – where the play received two 5 star reviews and was nominated for Latest Magazine’s “Best International Act” Award.
Her further theatre experience includes extensive South African tours with children’s theatre productions Rapunzel, Princess and the Pea and Charlotte’s Web. In 2009 she played Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet Unplugged, directed by Anthea Thompson and in 2010 she played over 30 characters in the Shakespearean romp The Big O directed by Ashley Dowds.
Briony enjoys working with teenagers, as she first discovered in 2005 as a facilitator of the Western Cape Department of Sports and Culture initiative, The Clock is Tikking, in which a select group of learners from 10 schools were taught performance skills and engaged in debate in order to create a piece of theatre which they performed at all 10 schools.
In 2012, Horwitz developed Developing Multiple Personality Order – a workshop investigating the tools of characterisation and applying them to a one person show (with comparisons to other kinds of theatre and film). This workshop was well-received at the Grahamstown Schools Festival and utilised as the basis for a tailor-made workshop for the National School of the Arts – where more focus was placed on connecting the theories of practitioners like Stanislavski and Grotowski to the practice and application of characterisation in various styles.
Based in Johannesburg, Horwitz is most well-known for her role as investigative journalist, Sasha Ellis on the popular ETV soap opera Scandal!. She was a member of the original cast of MNET’s pioneering daily drama The WIld. In 2010 she starred in the eerie thriller Karoo, which won best short film at the SAFTAs in 2011.
In 2014, Briony was selected for the Inspiring a Generation programme, supported by ASSITEJ South Africa and the Theatre Arts Admin Collective with funding from the Danish Arts Council and Distell. As well as seeing over 40 shows for children, she was able to engage with 3 Danish children’s theatre companies and continues to be mentored by them.
Horwitz is always looking to add to her skill set. She recently joined the Causing a Scene improvisation group and has various levels of training in kung fu, yoga, belly dance, singing and certain kinds of puppetry.
Workshops and Services
Workshops can be run in any clear classroom or hall depending on numbers. Minimum 10, maximum 60 learners.
All performance workshops will run for 2 hours
Puppet and Mask making workshops each run as two 3 hours sessions over two consecutive days
Characterisation: Developing Multiple Personality Order
Looking at various physical, practical and theoretical tools of characterisation and their application to characters in different genres or production types (television vs theatre; sitcom vs heightened tragedy) with a particular focus on playing multiple characters in one play. Age: 13+, Grades 8-12
Valuable to learners interested in drama, regardless of their level of training. The cost is R1000 for 2 hours for +/- 30 learners. Should you book this in tandem with the show, A Girl Called Owl, a discount will apply.
This workshop looks at the tools of characterisation that I have learned and found useful through Speech and Drama (primary school), Drama (high school), Theatre and Performance (UCT) and in my professional career – I look at applying these tools to characters in different genres or production types (television vs theatre; sitcom vs heightened tragedy) with a particular focus on playing multiple characters in one play.
I pay attention to singling out Characterisation from other elements of theatre like situation, emotion and style but look at the way that these elements impact on character.
The theories on character of Stanislavski and Grotowski on are discussed while the exercises look particularly at the physical expression of character using elements, animals, physical sensation, focussed body parts, weight, speed and rhythm.
I look at when (and how) to use the playtext as a starting point, and when to use alternative sources of inspiration.
I originally developed the workshop for the Grahamstown Schools Festival 2012 and have since updated it for the National School of the Arts in 2013. I can provide references if necessary.
The workshop can take place in any clear classroom or hall.
Puppetry in Performance
A look at the principles behind working with puppets: bringing inanimate objects to life, use of the voice and working in teams. Age: 13+
Mask in Performance
A look at the principles behind working with mask: non-verbal communication, entrances and exits and the role of the outside eye. Age: 13+
Communicating through Dance
The performers of Once Upon a Fire take learners on an exploration of African, Jazz, Contemporary and Ballroom dance as tools of narrative. Age: 10+
A brief theoretical overview including history and types of puppets, particularly referencing South African productions; making of individual simple puppets. Age: 13+
A brief theoretical overview including history and types of masks, particularly referencing South African productions; making of individual simple masks. Age: 13+
Briony Horwitz (Producer and Performer)
072 172 0950
General Contact Details:
2 Grosfam Avenue,
Sandhurst Extension 4,