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Acting & Actor Training

Performer Training

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Performer training assumes skills can be developed to make communication clearer and the experience of performing easier. It often sees the performer practising the integration of voice and body.


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Dowling 1
Video
This workshop was an early attempt to develop a form of movement training work for performers that has its underpinning in the principles of the Alexander Technique and the work of Monika Pagneux.
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Among the Living: Memories of Lisa Mayo
Video
Lisa Mayo of the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations was a founding member of the Native American women’s feminist theatre group, Spiderwoman Theater. She was a singer, actor, and playwright who wrote and performed with Spiderwoman Theater for 35 years.
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Thelma Holt talks about her early career as an actress in the immediate post-war period, changes in the 1950s and 1960s effected by the Royal Court, and her role in developing the fringe theatre scene.
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Brewster on her childhood in Jamaica, training at Rose Bruford and her subsequent career, as well as the difficulties of getting work as a black actress and the experiences of her contemporaries.
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Andrei Droznin Physical Actor Training
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This film covers basic acrobatics.
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Andrei Droznin Physical Actor Training
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This film covers basic acrobatics using furniture and objects.
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Andrei Droznin Physical Actor Training
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This film covers an interview with Andrei Droznin.
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Andrei Droznin Physical Actor Training
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This film covers locomotion techniques.
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Andrei Droznin Physical Actor Training
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This film covers partner work.
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Andrei Droznin Physical Actor Training
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This film covers preparation and stretches for physical activity.
00:55:27
Pearson 1
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Pearson takes a group of practitioners through the many exercises that formed the central concerns of Brith Gof. These include physical training, spatial and temporal awareness and group choreography.
00:01:03
Contact Improvisation for Actor Training
Video
This video is documentation taken from a weekly contact jam session with the actors in the MFA Actor-Training program at UC Irvine. Contact Improvisation is a large part of the movement arc in the first year of actor training, and jam sessions are held weekly, integrating all three years of MFA actors.  Someone happened to video this session, and I give a brief description of our use of contact as a tool for actor training in the voice-over. 
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Contact Improvisation for Actor Training - Movement with Text
Video
This video is documentation of an exercise with 3rd year graduate actors at the UC Irvine Actor-Training program, speaking a monologue while contacting with a silent partner. At a moment of heightened activity, the silent partner is removed, and the resulting delivery of the monologue is focused and intensely communicated. The athleticism and sensitivity of the contact created a culture of expressivity. Tenderness as well as rage and challenge emerged in the contact session and remained present in the solo monologue. So, the complexities of emotion that were embodied metaphorically and rhythmically in the extreme lifts and rolls and balances of the partnering could be seen as an emotional “rehearsal” for the solo performance. But once the partner was removed, the speaker had to reach out to us, and address each deeply felt idea to the audience in the room. No longer in a contact with the literal “other,” we, the audience, now become the necessary focus.
00:29:17
Directions for Directing—Theatre and Method – Adapting the Classics
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This video features snapshots from two different directing workshops conducted in October 2017 with two groups of directing students at RESAD (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid) in Madrid, Spain. The workshops focused on strategies of recontextualization of classical works and of determining directorial point-of-view.  
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Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method–Working with a Set Designer
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This video workshop, which took place in Athens in July 2017, is the result of a process of working on possible ideas for set design for Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea. Athena Stourna shares her intuitions in front of a model she built for the purposes of this book, shedding light on fundamental questions that permeate the director-scenographer collaboration.
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Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method—Movement Work for the Actor
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This video is from a workshop which brought together performer Miranda Manasiadis and choreographer Malia Johnston. The workshop took place at Footnote Dance and Deirdre Tarrant Studios.
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Directions for Directing—Theatre and Method - Building Character
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This workshop took place at East Hampton, NY, in October 2016, part of an attempt to address different ways of looking at the character of Blanche du Bois. 
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Dyrygent
Video
A documentation of a five-day workshop, with Zygmunt Molik leading a group of participants at the historical site of the Brzezinka farm, where most of Grotowski’s paratheatrical work took place.
00:19:52
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Video
This film, shot in the early part of the 1990s by leading Polish film-maker Jacek Petrycki, shows Gardzienice on the road in the Carpathian mountains in the Ukraine, rehearsing and training.
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Zinder 3 asset
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A workshop concentrating on the structured approach that is the basis of ImageWork training, leading the participants from simple forms of improvised physical expression to complex forms.
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Zarrilli’s Psychophysical Acting methodology focuses on the relationship between the actor-as-doer and what the actor does. It (re)examines in practice and theory a psychophysical approach to acting.
00:26:11
Konstantin Stanislavski. After My Life in Art, Part 3: The Return
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The third episode of After My Life in Art, originally broadcast by The Culture Channel, Russia
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Konstantin Stanislavski. After My Life in Art, Part 4: The System
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The fourth episode of After My Life in Art, originally broadcast by The Culture Channel, Russia
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The fifth episode of After My Life in Art, originally broadcast by The Culture Channel, Russia
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Gardzienice’s physical and vocal training hinges on two main ideas: mutuality and musicality. It usually begins with song, perhaps discovered on a rural expedition or taken from ancient Greek music.
00:50:25
Meyerhold Theatre and the Russian Avant-garde
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Part of an overall documentary series about Russian Theatre in the 1920s, Meyerhold Theatre and the Russian Avant-garde uses archive material to demonstrate acting techniques.
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Levinsky 1
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This video captures a typical progression in Levinsky’s teaching of biomechanics, from work with sticks to footwork, balance and simple twirling skills, culminating in a demonstration of solo études.
00:26:03
Chekhov 5
Video
Part three covers Chekhov during WW1; the First Studio of The Moscow Art Theatre; Chekhov's marriage to Olga Chekova; his nervous breakdown and mental illness; and his own Studio.
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Chekhov 6
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Part four covers the end of the Civil War; Chekhov’s new marriage; the start of his theory of Psychological Gesture; Erik XIV, directed by Vakhtangov; and Inspector General, directed by Stanislavsky.
01:19:28
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In this demonstration-performance, Odin Teatret’s Iben Nagel Rasmussen shows and explains her working practice, from her training methods through to performance.
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Prapto 1
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This workshop has a strong focus on voice work. It takes place on Dartmoor, in an ancient stone circle, a village hall and a garden, and illustrates Suryodarmo’s individual movement practice.
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These six videos document research in solo physical training developed by Massimiliano Balduzzi over more than fifteen years, and include work on exercise sequences.
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Stanislavsky and The Russian Theatre
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This film explores the main themes which led to the founding of The Moscow Art Theatre and the formation of Stanislavsky’s system of acting.
00:58:20
The Bridge of Winds. International Group of Theatrical Research Led by Iben Nagel Rasmussen
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This film documents the work of Iben Nagel Rasmussen (Odin Teatret) with her international group The Bridge of Winds during a two-week closed work session held in December 2011.
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An explanation of how performances are created at Odin Teatret. It describes the stages in the work, presenting the different phases of the process in which text, actor and director interact.
00:59:50
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By providing unprecedented access to the work of Grotowski’s women collaborators, this film, featuring Rena Mirecka, offers a more inclusive assessment of Grotowski’s enduring legacy.
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A performance that describes the vicissitudes of the voice of an actor and the stratagems she invents to ‘interpret’ a text. In theatre, actors need to create a labyrinth of rules to follow or refuse.
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Houben 1
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The Neutral Mask workshop Houben led for the International Workshop Festival in Edinburgh was the only one of this kind he ever attempted. It was an experiment.
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Odin Teatret - The Whispering Winds - Asset Thumbnail Image
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A performance-demonstration about the difference between theatre and dance. European culture suffers from the division between theatre and dance. They are, in fact, a single world.
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Meetings poster asset
Video
Katherina Seyferth’s training methodology includes yoga-based movement and plastiques, as well as exercises focusing on the passage from stillness to movement and accessing one's organic drive.
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Meetings poster asset
Video
Documenting a three-day work session introducing participants to key aspects of the training Rasmussen developed with her group, The Bridge of Winds, culminating in a Montage of Actions and Songs.
Commentary
by Annie Loui
Contact improvisation is a form of dance improvisation based on energy and weight exchange, incorporating elements of aikido, jitterbugging, child’s play, and tumbling
Commentary
by Avra Sidiropoulou
Directions for Directing: Theatre and Method lays out contemporary concepts of directing practice and examines specific techniques of approaching scripts, actors, and the stage. Addressed to both young and experienced directors but also to the broader community of theatre practitioners, scholars, and dedicated theatre goers, the book sheds light on the director’s multiplicity of roles throughout the life of a play — from the moment of its conception to opening night — and explores the director’s processes of inspiration, interpretation, communication, and leadership. From organizing auditions and making casting choices to decoding complex dramaturgical texts and motivating actors, Directions for Directing offers practical advice and features detailed Workbook sections on how to navigate such a fascinating discipline. A companion website explores the work of international practitioners of different backgrounds who operate within various institutions, companies, and budgets, providing readers with a wide range of perspectives and methodologies.
Commentary
by Ben Spatz
Ben Spatz describes the ‘exercise-actions’ and movement sequences of Balduzzi’s demonstration, and situates his process in terms of European and Balinese traditions of physical training.
Practitioner
Iben Nagel Rasmussen is an actor, director, teacher and writer born in Denmark. She has been a member of Odin Teatret since 1966 and conducts independent research as leader of ‘The Bridge of Winds’.
Practitioner
Phillip Zarrilli, Professor of Drama at Exeter University, is internationally known for training actors using a psychophysical process combining yoga and the Asian martial arts, and as a director.


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Practitioner
Jerzy Grotowski was one of the major theatre directors of the twentieth century. He extended what theatrical activity comprises by focussing on acting, space, and the actor–audience relationship.
Category
An ensemble is a grouping of performers or theatre-makers, preferably with an extended professional commitment, working towards an individual performance or as part of an established company.