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A pragmatic intervention in the study of how recent discoveries within cognitive science can and should be applied to performance. Drawing on his experience the author interrogates the key cognitive activities involved in performance inc non-verbal communication; thought, speech, and gesture relationships; empathy, imagination, and emotion.
The Actor, Image and Action is a 'new generation' approach to the craft of acting; the first full-length study of actor training using the insights of cognitive neuroscience. In a brilliant reassessment of both the practice and theory of acting, Rhonda Blair examines the physiological relationship between bodily action and emotional experience. In doing so she provides the latest step in Stanislavsky's attempts to help the actor 'reach the unconscious by conscious means'. Recent developments in scientific thinking about the connections between biology and cognition require new ways of understanding many elements of human activity, including: imagination emotion memory physicality reason. The Actor, Image and Action looks at how these are in fact inseparable in the brain's structure and function, and their crucial importance to an actor’s engagement with a role. The book vastly improves our understanding of the actor's process and is a must for any actor or student of acting.
This book explores new developments in the dialogues between science and theatre and offers an introduction to a fast-expanding area of research and practice. The cognitive revolution in the humanities is creating new insights into the audience experience, performance processes and training. Scientists are collaborating with artists to investigate how our brains and bodies engage with performance to create new understanding of perception, emotion, imagination and empathy. Divided into four parts, each introduced by an expert editorial from leading researchers in the field, this edited volume offers readers an understanding of some of the main areas of collaboration and research: 1. Dances with Science 2. Touching Texts and Embodied Performance 3. The Multimodal Actor 4. Affecting Audiences Throughout its history theatre has provided exciting and accessible stagings of science, while contemporary practitioners are increasingly working with scientific and medical material. As Honour Bayes reported in the Guardian in 2011, the relationships between theatre, science and performance are 'exciting, explosive and unexpected'. Affective Performance and Cognitive Science charts new directions in the relations between disciplines, exploring how science and theatre can impact upon each other with reference to training, drama texts, performance and spectatorship. The book assesses the current state of play in this interdisciplinary field, facilitating cross disciplinary exchange and preparing the way for future studies.
What is the relationship between 'body' and 'mind', 'inner' and 'outer' in any approach to acting? How have different modes of actor training shaped actors' experiences of acting and how they understand their work? Phillip B. Zarrilli, Jerri Daboo and Rebecca Loukes offer insight into such questions, analysing acting as a psychophysical phenomenon and process across cultures and disciplines, and providing in-depth accounts of culturally and historically specific approaches to acting. Individual chapters explore: • psychophysical acting and the legacy of Stanislavsky • European psychophysical practices of dance and theatre • traditional and contemporary psychophysical approaches to performance in India and Japan • insights from the new sciences on the 'situated bodymind' of the actor • intercultural perspectives on acting This lively study is ideal for students and practitioners alike.
Richard Pochinko (1946–89) played a pioneering role in North American clown theater through the creation of an original pedagogy synthesizing modern European and indigenous Native American techniques. In Clown Through Mask, Veronica Coburn and onetime Pochinko apprentice Sue Morrison lay out the methodology of the Pochinko style of clowning and offer a bold philosophical framework for its interpretation. Morrison is today a leading teacher of Pochinko's Clown through Mask technique and this book extends significantly the literature on this underdocumented form of theater.
Inspired by the award-winning poet and actor’s acclaimed one-man play, a powerful coming-of-age memoir that reimagines masculinity for the twenty-first-century male. Award-winning poet, actor, and writer Carlos Andrés Gómez is a supremely gifted storyteller with a captivating voice whose power resonates equally on the live stage and on the page. In one of his most moving spoken-word poems, Gómez recounts a confrontation he once had after accidentally bumping into another man at a club. Just as they were about to fight, Gómez experienced an unexplainable surge of emotion that made his eyes well up with tears. Everyone at the scene jumped back, as if crying, or showing vulnerability, was the most insane thing that Gómez could possibly have done. Like many men in our society, Gómez grew up believing that he had to be ready to fight at all times, treat women as objects, and close off his emotional self. It wasn’t until he discovered acting that he began to see the true cost of squelching one’s emotions—and how aggression dominates everything that young males are taught. Statistics on graduation rates, employment, and teen and young-adult suicide make it clear that the young males in our society are at a crisis point, but Gómez seeks to reverse these ominous trends by sharing the lessons that he has learned. Like Hill Harper’s Letters to a Young Brother, Man Up will be an agent for positive change, galvanizing men—but also mothers, girlfriends, wives, and sisters—to rethink and reimagine the way all men interact with women, deal with violence, handle fear, and express emotion.
A guide to Psycho-Physical Acting, complete with games and exercises.When Stanislavsky died, he was working on a new system, Psycho-Physical Acting. Previously he had taught that truthful performance can only spring from the actor's imagination (the Method). Late in life, Stanislavsky realised that physical actions can induce emotions just as much as the other way round.Though well-known - and much taught - in Russia, Psycho-Physical Acting is in its infancy in the West. Bella Merlin has studied under three of the best teachers in Russia; this book is the fruit of her time there.'This is a book which is vital both to practitioners and to all serious students of the theatre' Max Stafford-Clark'A seminal book for today... an outstandingly lucid account... essential reading' Simon CallowChapter 1: Putting You in the Picture. A resume of Stanislavsky's various work methods, with glances at Michael Chekhov and Grotowski.Chapter 2: Working on Your Self. Fine-tuning both body and psychology to yield vitality and spontaneity on stage.Chapter 3: Working in the Ensemble. Building a powerful and trusting environment within an ensemble.Chapter 4: Working on Your Role. The Method of Physical Actions and Active Analysis in the rehearsal room - with application to texts from Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, Pinter and Dostoyevsky.Chapter 5: Putting it into Practice. Implementing the new techniques as (a) a professional actor; (b) a workshop leader; and (c) a director.

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