From the Source
The Acting Methods of Zen Zen Zo
The Zen Zen Zo Story
Zen Zen Zo was founded in 1992 in Brisbane by Lynne Bradley and Simon Woods.
"Zen Zen Zo's aesthetic was forged between the ancient Asian dance-theatre traditions, the European avant-garde theatre movement, and contemporary pop culture, where sound, light, movement and spectacle communicate meaning and experience.
Zen Zen Zo believes in a theatre of contact, in which the relationship between the actors and the audience is at once intimate and shocking, compelling and confrontational, ritualistic and profane."
2017 Taster of the Training Promotional Video
- LYNNE BRADLEY
Lynne Bradley - Zen Zen Zo Founder
LYNNE BRADLEY has worked as a director, choreographer, performer and actor-trainer in Brisbane and abroad for the past 30 years. In 1992 she founded Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre with Simon Woods, and spent two decades building Zen Zen Zo into an internationally renowned performance and training centre.
Lynne was one of the first artists to introduce Butoh to Australia in the early 90s and is currently involved in a major intercultural exchange with world-renowned Butoh company Dairakudakan in Japan, traveling regularly to train and work with her teacher of the past decade, Maro Akaji. Lynne’s seminal training in Japan (where she lived for 5 years in her early 20s) was with Butoh founder Ohno Kazuo, Katsura Kan (Byakko-sha) and Iwashita Toru (Sankai Juku), and also included extensive training in Noh and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training.
In 1993 Lynne wrote her Honours Thesis (at UQ) on Butoh and continues to be passionate about introducing it to other artists around Australia. Lynne is also a principal instructor of the Viewpoints. In 1998 she received a scholarship to study the Viewpoints with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in New York, and she and Simon Woods subsequently became the first teachers of this actor training method in Australia. Lynne and Simon are also qualified teachers of Ashtanga Yoga (1st series).
As a director, choreographer and performer, Lynne worked extensively between 1992 and the present, and has won a number of awards, including Matilda Awards for Zen Zen Zo’s Cabaret (Best Musical) and The Tempest (Best Independent Production), and the 2017 Philip Parson’s Prize for In the Company of Shadows. Zeitgeist was also short-listed for a prestigious Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, and toured extensively between 2008-2010. Lynne completed her PhD on Cultural Translation in 2016, and now runs USC’s Master of Professional Practice (Performing Arts) in Brisbane, Australia.
Simon Woods - Zen Zen Zo Founder
SIMON WOODS co-founded Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre with Lynne Bradley in 1992. He works professionally now as a director and cinematographer. Over a 25-year period he has become one of Australia’s leading instructors in the Suzuki Actor Training Method.
As a resident in Japan from 1993–1995 Simon studied Noh theatre and the Suzuki Method and attended Suzuki Tadashi’s International Masterclass in New York (1994) and Toga, Japan (2007). He has also observed Suzuki at work on numerous productions in America, Europe and Japan for the renowned SCOT Company.
Simon received a Master of Arts in Drama (UQ) in 2006 for research on the intercultural application of the Suzuki Method for non-Japanese performers.
Alys Hill - Associate Director Zen Zen Zo NZ
Alys has a Bachelor of Education specialising in Perf Arts. She is a registered dance and specialist performing arts teacher. Alys has been training since 2008 with the Australian company Zen Zen Zo and continues to work and train extensively alongside the founding directors, Simon Woods & Lynne Bradley. Attending stomping ground annually she assists, teaches, demonstrates and participates in the high quality training, also expanding her development of Lecoq pedagogy with frequent annual training with Steph Kehoe.
She has performed and studied with founding Butoh company Dairakudakan, in Hakuba Japan and Brisbane Australia.
Alys is now based in Christchurch where she has established the New Zealand arm of the company in 2018. She currently runs the weekly Actor's Dojo classes in different city venues in Christchurch. Alys has travelled around New Zealand, Singapore, Australia & Europe to run Zen Zen Zo workshops and residencies for both high schools and professional theatre companies.
She has also trained as a tutor for Jolt Integrated dance company, been a Head of Drama in high school settings and been a Les Mills bodyJam fitness instructor.