Arthur Lessac’s Embodied Actor Training situates the work of renowned voice and movement trainer Arthur Lessac in the context of contemporary actor training. Supported by the work of Constantin Stanislavsky and Maurice Merleau-Ponty's theories of embodiment, the book explores Lessac's practice in terms of embodied acting, a key subject in contemporary performance. In doing so, the author explains how the actor can come to experience both skill and expression as a subjective whole through active meditation and spatial attunement. As well as feeding this psychophysical approach into a wider discussion of embodiment, the book provides concrete examples of how the practice can be put into effect. Using insights gleaned from interviews conducted with Lessac and his Master Teachers, the author enlightens our own understanding of Lessac’s practices. Three valuable appendices enhance the reader’s experience. These include: a biographical timeline of Lessac’s life and career sample curricula and a lesson plan for teachers at university level explorations for personal discovery Melissa Hurt is a Lessac Certified Trainer and has taught acting and Lessac’s voice, speech, and movement work at colleges across the United States. She has a PhD from the University of Oregon and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Movement: Onstage and Off is the complete guide for actors to the most effective techniques for developing a fully expressive body. It is a comprehensive compilation of established fundamentals, a handbook for movement centered personal growth and a guide to helping actors and teachers make informed decisions for advanced study. This book includes: fundamental healing/conditioning processes essential techniques required for versatile performance specialized skills various training approaches and ways to frame the actor’s movement training. Using imitation exercises to sharpen awareness, accessible language and adaptable material for solo and group work, the authors aim to empower you the reader to unleash your extraordinary potential.
Actor Training in Anglophone Countries offers a firsthand account of the most significant acting programs in English-speaking countries throughout the world. The culmination of archival research and fieldwork spanning six years, it is the only work of its kind that studies the history of actor training from an international perspective. It presents the current moment as crucial for student actors and those who teach them. As the profession continues to change, new and progressive approaches to training have become as urgent as they are necessary. Using drama schools and universities as its subjects of inquiry, this book investigates acting programs in the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Among the case studies are the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, National Theatre School of Canada, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and Carnegie Mellon University. All recognized for their distinguished reputations by industry professionals and acting teachers alike, the book examines each program’s pedagogical approach, administrative structure, funding apparatus, and alumni success. In doing so, it identifies the challenges facing acting schools today and offers a new direction for training in the twenty-first century. Actor Training in Anglophone Countries will be of interest to theatre and performance scholars, artists, students, and teachers.
The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education
Author: Peter Zazzali
Category: Performing Arts
There are over 150 BFA and MFA acting programs in the US today, nearly all of which claim to prepare students for theatre careers. Peter Zazzali contends that the curricula of these courses represent an ethos that is as outdated as it is limited, given today’s shrinking job market for stage actors. Acting in the Academy traces the history of actor training in universities to make the case for a move beyond standard courses in voice and speech, movement, or performance, to develop an entrepreneurial model that motivates and encourages students to create their own employment opportunities. This book answers questions such as: How has the League of Professional Theatre Training Programs shaped actor training in the US? How have training programmes and the acting profession developed in relation to one another? What impact have these developments had on American acting as an art form? Acting in the Academy calls for a reconceptualization of actor training the US, and looks to newly empower students of performance with a fresh, original perspective on their professional development.
The Alexander Technique as a Catalyst for Excellence
Author: Kathleen Juhl
Publisher: Singing Dragon
The Alexander Technique is a specific form of mind/body practice that focusses on improving efficiency through learning and understanding movement and behavior. Galvanizing Performances applies the teachings of this practice to the performing arts. Through theatre, music, and dance, the contributors, all artists themselves, demonstrate how deliberate movement can improve an individual's art and benefit their general health and wellbeing. Using specific case examples and in-depth analysis over a range of performance arts, this book supports instruction of effective movement and the Alexander Technique within different artistic disciplines for students and teachers alike.
This unique book gathers articles from the numanistic perspective of multidisciplinarity and innovation, connected by three main theoretical interests or overarching themes: music, semiotics and translation. Offering an eclectic collection of innovative papers that address such topics as culture, musicology, art consumption, meaning, codes and national identities, to name a few, it has a broad appeal across the humanities and social sciences. The contributing authors draw on various schools and methodologies, including psychology, psychoanalysis, social semiotics, semiotic modelling, deconstruction and cultural analysis. By approaching established themes in new and challenging ways, this highly engaging book has the potential to advance the state of the art in various topics. It appeals to all scholars investigating cultural identity, linguistics and translation, music consumption, performance, semiotic theories and various intersections of these and related topics.
The Performing Art of Therapy explores the myriad ways in which acting techniques can enhance the craft of psychotherapy. The book shows how, by understanding therapy as a performing art, clinicians can supplement their theoretical approach with techniques that fine-tune the ways their bodies, voices, and imaginations engage with and influence their clients. Broken up into accessible chapters focused on specific attributes of performance, and including an appendix of step-by-step exercises for practitioners, this is an essential guidebook for therapists looking to integrate their theoretical training into who they are as individuals, find joy in their work, expand their empathy, increase self-care, and inspire clients to perform their own lives.
Towards an Intercultural/Interdisciplinary Approach
Author: Tara McAllister-Viel
Category: Performing Arts
Contemporary actor training in the US and UK has become increasingly multicultural and multilinguistic. Border-crossing, cross-cultural exchange in contemporary theatre practices, and the rise of the intercultural actor has meant that actor training today has been shaped by multiple modes of training and differing worldviews. How might mainstream Anglo-American voice training for actors address the needs of students who bring multiple worldviews into the training studio? When several vocal training traditions are learned simultaneously, how does this shift the way actors think, talk, and perform? How does this change the way actors understand what a voice is? What it can/should do? How it can/should do it? Using adaptations of a traditional Korean vocal art, p’ansori, with adaptations of the "natural" or "free" voice approach, Tara McAllister-Viel offers an alternative approach to training actors’ voices by (re)considering the materials of training: breath, sound, "presence," and text. This work contributes to ongoing discussions about the future of voice pedagogy in theatre, for those practitioners and scholars interested in performance studies, ethnomusicology, voice studies, and intercultural theories and practices.
Toward a General Theory of Acting explores the actor's art through the lens of Dynamic Systems Theory and recent findings in the Cognitive Sciences. An analysis of different theories of acting in the West from Stanislavski to Lecoq is followed by an in depth discussion of technique, improvisation, and creating a score. In the final chapter, the focus shifts to how these three are interwoven when the actor steps in front of an audience, whether performing realist, non-realist, or postdramatic theatre. Far from using the sciences to reduce acting to a formula, Lutterbie celebrates the mystery of the creative process.
This release of Body Wisdom marks the forty-first anniversary (1978-2019) of Arthur Lessac's groundbreaking work that incorporated an unusual philosophy, a sensible system of creative work and exercises, and a vital concept of psychosomatic health into a single discipline applicable to theatre, athletics, therapy, and life in general. Upon its initial release, Body Wisdom was praised by Theatre Quarterly as a "personal system that is brilliant in its simplicity and as effortless in its flow" - that "incorporates and inter-relates many principles of Yoga, Alexander, and Laban." Over the last forty years, the book has served as a fundamental source used in the evolution of Lessac Kinesensic Training, a sensory-based approach applicable to all uses of the body with "body" defined in its broadest sense to include the physical, vocal, spiritual and imaginative. In a new introduction to this edition of Body Wisdom, Master Lessac Teacher Deborah Kinghorn situates the original manuscript as an important archive in the overall development of Lessac Kinesensics and provides insight into how some of the original terms coined by Arthur Lessac have shifted, while still offering up new possibilities for self-discovery and learning within the larger areas of Bodymind, Embodied Learning, Sensory Integration Therapy, and Theatre Training.