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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Alexander Technique for Technicians

Robert Berls
Vice-Commissioner for Health and Safety, Scene Design Commission

Ever felt a kink in the neck, a sore shoulder, or a tight back after painting for hours on a drop? How about screw gun elbow or carpenter's knee? Planning doctor visits after every light hang due to wrist pain? Unable to perform job-related tasks that were easy just a few years ago? The list goes on, and many who have been working in technical theatre have experienced some form of repetitive stress injury. Countless tasks in theatre cause pain and stiffness during and after the project. Since most can neither afford a weekly full body massage nor expect to find completely safe and side effect-free pain relievers, what can be done? There is a solution to these physical ailments: the Alexander Technique.

Yes, an acting technique could provide a method for helping to reduce repetitive stress injuries in the workplace. Those who had the opportunity to attend the Alexander Technique session during the 2008 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Houston in March had a first-hand look at what stretching and stress management can do. From group stretching before a work period to three simple massage techniques of the hand to reduce stress and relax the muscles, this well-attended session showed the basics of this acting technique and how it can be applied to benefit those on the technical side. Intrigued? Want another chance to attend such an informative session?

Good news! The Cincinnati 2009 Conference & Stage Expo will offer a more detailed look into these methods. Alexander Technique for Technicians will delve further into optimizing body movements for maintaining healthy and sustained productivity throughout an entire career. Participants are encouraged to bring small and portable hand tools of the trade so several Alexander-trained presenters may lead small group sessions to examine possible solutions to the damage of repetitive movements and preparations to take before beginning work. This session should enlighten technicians at all stages of their careers and help to increase their productivity and ability to be healthy in the workplace.

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