Call for Papers: Against the Canon

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT)

Call for contributions, ideas, proposals and dialogue with the editors

Guest editors: Dr Cass Fleming, Goldsmiths College, London (c.fleming@gold.ac.uk) and Professor Mark Evans, Coventry University (m.evans@coventry.ac.uk). 

Training Grounds Editor: Dr Sara Reed, Coventry University (ab5421@coventry.ac.uk

Against the Canon (Issue 11.3) 

This will be a special issue of the journal which addresses the forgotten or marginalised contributions made by various collaborative artists and practitioners to the development of performer training during the twentieth and twenty first centuries.  Many previous publications on training have tended to focus on canonical figures and the dominant historical performer-training narratives. Less attention has been paid to collaboration as an important characteristic of avant-garde performance training, and to the complex collaborations through which pedagogy and work has been developed and disseminated.  This journal issue will intentionally centralise these collaborative exchanges, thereby shifting the focus away from canonical individual figures and towards frequently overlooked or under-recognised collaborators, practitioners and pedagogues.  

We invite contributions that might challenge the manner in which traditional performer training histories often still seek to capture the ‘purity’ of established methods and also to identify individual owners of successful techniques.  This issue will seek to challenge the ways in which practitioners such as Stanislavsky, Copeau, Laban, Grotowski and Lecoq are often uncritically revered as ‘Master Teachers’ and the ways in which this obscures or negates the existence of wider networks of artists who contributed to the development of these training practices, many of whom were women. To this extent we are not looking simply to critique existing canonical figures, but to bring forward the work of those who are usually ignored.

In addition, this edition will also explore strands of performer training that emerged for artists whose needs, and/or identities, have been poorly catered for or marginalised by the dominant trainings and institutions in the twentieth century. This might cover the emergence of performer training and talent development by companies such as Talawa, Graeae, Candoco and Tamasha or organisations such as WAC Arts, The Diversity School Initiative, Identity School of Acting and The Mono Box in the UK, as well as practices elsewhere in the world that challenge and disrupt conventional and canonical processes of training.   

The special issue proposes to contest traditional linear, colonial and/or patriarchal histories by encouraging an exploration of hidden acts of non-linear cross-fertilisation in the development of training practices, recognising the alternative forms of pedagogy developed outside the mainstream, and considering related critical and ideological ideas. The re-positioning of generally marginalised or overlooked artists and their work can also be seen to follow from a larger, and older, feminist project, from the rise of the #MeToo campaign, and from the need to de-colonise the performer training canon.  Proposals may also look to Post Colonial studies, Queer studies and Disabilities Art in terms of critically considering the reasons for exclusion and omission from the mainstream and the training needs of a more diverse community of performers.  

This guest edited issue welcomes submissions using alternative forms of historiography and documentations, and diverse critical approaches, that may be better suited to explore non-linear cross-fertilisation in the development of training practices, and the emergence of new forms of training that often existed outside the dominant historical models.  

The special issue will:

  • re-position and re-examine generally marginalised or overlooked artists/pedagogues and their work. 
  • examine the ways in which gender, race, disability, sexuality, social class and economics function to marginalise practices and practitioners.
  • question how diverse collaborations and training approaches have been distorted and blocked by social, cultural and industrial forces.
  • encourage contributions that engage with the ways in which we document and acknowledge previously overlooked collaborative exchanges. 

Expressions of interest

We are particularly interested in (but are not limited to) submissions in the following areas:

  • Articles and Sources that draw critical attention to those pedagogues, practitioners and trainers whose collaborative contributions have been historically overlooked or denied. This can be groups of practitioners, or individuals.
  • Articles and Sources that question the single authoring of training methodologies and conventional notions of ‘ownership’.
  • Articles and Sources that explore the development of performer training outside of mainstream provision.
  • The role of post training professional mentoring in challenging traditional modes of training.
  • Articles using creative forms of historiography. 

We welcome submissions from authors both inside and outside academic institutions and from those who are currently undergoing training or who have experiences to tell from their training histories. To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue in any one of the ways identified above please email an abstract (max 250 words) to Cass Fleming and Mark Evansat: c.fleming@gold.ac.ukand m.evans@coventry.ac.uk. Training Grounds proposals are to be made to Sara Reed, (ab5421@coventry.ac.uk) with copies to Mark and Cass.

Our deadline for these abstracts is 16th June 2019.

Theatre, Dance and Performance Traininghas three sections: 

  • Articles” feature contributions in a range of critical and scholarly formats (approx. 5,000-7,000 words) 
  • Sources” provide an outlet for the documentation and analysis of primary materials of performer trainingWe are particularly keen to receive material that documents the histories and contemporary practices associated with the issue’s theme.
  • Training Grounds” hosts shorter pieces, which are not peer reviewed, including essais, postcards, visual essays and book or event reviews. We welcome a wide range of different proposals for contributions including edited interviews and previously unpublished archive or source material. We also welcome suggestions for recent books on the theme to be reviewed; or for foundational texts to be re-reviewed. 

Innovative cross-over print/digital formats are possible, including the submission of audiovisual training materials, which can be housed on the online interactive Theatre, Dance and Performance Trainingjournal blog: http://theatredanceperformancetraining.org/

Issue Schedule

  • 16th June 2019:250 word proposals to be submitted to Cass Fleming andMark Evans at: c.fleming@gold.ac.ukand m.evans@coventry.ac.uk.
  • Early July 2019: Response from editors and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution.
  • Early July 2019 to end October 2019: Writing/preparation period and submission of first drafts.
  • End October-End of December 2019:Peer review period.
  • January 2020:Author revisions, post peer review.
  • September 2020: publication as Vol. 11, Issue 3.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Cumbria Youth Dance collaboration with TDPT

5 tips to make the most of a blog entry

Topos is a year-long artistic collaboration between Cumbria Youth Dance Company and Wired Aerial Theatre, to create a suite of new work – 1 dance film & 2 performance pieces – on the theme of mountains. Exploring the relationship between Labanotation (a way of recording dance movement) and topos (a similar notation method used by climbers to record their routes), dancers will work on the Cumbrian fells and in the studio to explore the transition between vertical & horizontal, producing 3 unique pieces of choreography for sharing at Kendal Mountain Festival, in the gardens at Brantwood, Coniston during John Ruskin’s bicentenary celebrations, and at Lakes Alive festival. The first performance has already been seen on stage at The Lowry as part of U. Dance NW 2019.

Photo: Henry Iddon

Part of the project will involve the young dancers creating blog posts describing their training and explaining how they are using the inspiration of their native Cumbrian fells to create contemporary dance.

So: to celebrate this project and to kickstart the TDPT collaboration here are 5 top tips for developing a good blog entry:

  1. Think carefully about how you combine your media. Do you have images and/or short video you can use to complement your ideas in writing?
  2.  Be simple and natural with your writing – blogs can be informal and are often all the more engaging when they are. 
  3. Think of your audience – who are you speaking to?  In this example – for TDPT – it is a mix of readers from all over the world, so don’t assume everything will be understood and explain local terms or jargon (briefly though!)
  4. Keep things short and sweet. Blogs are often read while people are doing other things – so keep the message simple.
  5. Above all – have a clear focus, so you know what you are trying to say. For this project it could be answering a simple question: How can mountains and nature inspire a training in dance? 

And remember – I’ll be around for the next few months as part of the project team to help and advise. So please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Jonathan Pitches (j.pitches@leeds.ac.uk)

(TDPT co-editor and academic at Leeds University) 

Call for Papers: The Makings of the Actor – Athens 17-26 July 2019

Towards Contemporary Acting Techniques, Practices & Methodologies    

Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Kiki Selioni, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Labanarium and MCF have taken the initiative to organize a Conference in Athens. The conference The Makings of the Actor aims to offer a platform to dialogue about the skills and knowledge necessary to develop the contemporary actor. The Conference will be the pilot event towards the establishment of the International Centre for Actor’s training that will officially open the next year 2020 in Athens supported by many institutions. Its mission is to gather international practitioners and researchers to discuss the needs of contemporary performance practice through conferences, performances, and workshops taking place internationally.

Contrary to the between-ness of our global realities, the vast majority of professional/conservatory-based training programmes in Europe, the UK, US, and Australia with a few exceptions have not yet embraced multi-, inter-, intra-cultural realities in their structure or pedagogical practice. Assumptions about what acting ‘is’ continue to be shaped by conventional modes, models, techniques, and structures that often resist both critical and/or creative self-examination (Zarrilli, Sasitharan and Kapur, 2016: 336).

The conference wants to address these perspectives and invites contributions addressing the following questions:

  • what constitutes outstanding acting?
  • The role of ‘talent’ in acting training
  • How to train skills and dexterity
  • How do we train and teach to reach all of the above

Our main goal is to open the discussion about this crucial issue of how to develop an actor today and to open a platform where for the first time we can as practitioners discuss our practices in order to create a community that can reach solutions.

Keynote Speakers     

Pr. Sergei Tcerkasckki Head of an Acting Studio in Russian State Institute of Performing Arts (he will also deliver an intensive week Workshop about Stanislavsky’s system) 100 years of the Stanislavsky System and Modern Actor Training

Pr. Andy Lavender in Theatre & Performance at the University of Warwick.  Head of the School of Theatre & Performance Studies and Cultural & Media Policy Studies, University of Warwick.

Dr. Tom Cornford, Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Sulian Vieira Pacheco, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts, University of Brasilia 

Avra Sidiropoulou Assistant Professor at the Μ.Α. program in Theatre Studies at the Open University of Cyprus

Pr. Nikos Geladas School of Physical Education and Sports Science   National and Kapodistrian University of Athens ·

Dr. Katia Savrami  Assistant Professor of Choreology at the Department of Theatre Studies at the University of Patras, Greece.

Pr. Rob Roznowski Head of Acting and Directing in the Department of Theatre. Professor Michigan State University, USA.

Ramunė Balevičiūtė Associate Professor in Theatre Studies, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre

Call for Papers, Teaching Demonstrations and Performances 17-26  July (Except Sunday 21th)

We welcome submissions from acting/voice/movement teachers, actors coaches, theatre practitioners, actors, directors, training practitioners, theatre researchers, practice and academic researchers within varying aspects of practice.  

For papers please send your abstract of 200 words for your oral presentation (20 min) in a Word doc form, including title, institutional affiliation, your brief CV and email address. The paper presentations will be 20 min they are followed by a 10 min discussion with the audience/participants.

Submissions of teaching demonstration must be in English and can be up to 4 pages (including references and figures) in a Word doc form, including title, institutional affiliation, your brief CV and email address. The first 2 pages are expected to describe your system. The third and fourth pages are expected to be used for images, references, and technical requirements. You should expect wireless network access. A number of  8-10 students will be provided for all accepted demonstrations. The Demonstration allows practitioners/researchers to demonstrate their works in teaching in a dedicated session of 60-70 min. they are followed by a 20 min discussion with the audience/participants.

Performances will take place at Michael Cacoyannis Foundation Theatre Hall. Proposals must outline the planned work accurately in 2 pages in a Word doc form and must include title, brief Cv, technical requirements, images, and video. Performances running must be 20-90 min. and they are followed by a 20 min discussion with the audience/participants.

Please send your submission until 15th May 2019 to kiki.selioni@cssd.ac.uk

If an official invitation is required earlier for research funding purposes, please contact kiki.selioni@cssd.ac.uk  and ensure that you submit your abstract as early as possible.

Submissions based on an implemented and tested system that innovative approaches related to conference’s areas of interest, (including but not limited to):

Acting techniques/systems/methodologies

Voice speaking training

Dance and movement training for actors

Martial arts, stage combat

Acting coaching on screen

Actor and musical productions

Improvisation techniques and rehearsal process

Theory and/or Practice  

Performance as Training

Psychology of the Actor

Presence and Truth on Stage

Ecstatic and Ritual Acting

Metaphysics and Physics in Actor’s presence

Acting in Education

Actors in Industry and their continuous training

Amateur/Professional Actors skills.

Skills and dexterities in Acting

Acting/Coaching Teachers and their skills.

Choreography in Acting

Participants Fees:

Papers: €150

Demonstrations: €300

Performances: €100-300

Conference Attendance Fees: €200

Student and unwaged €100

Workshop Monday 22 July to Friday 26 July 14.00-19.00

Modern Stanislavsky System in the Mirror of Chekhov’s “The Seagull”

This two-part workshop gives an experience of work according to the different phases of Stanislavsky’s System development. Starting from the intensive practical overview of different approaches to work of an actor on himself/herself it moves forward to scene work.

Rehearsal techniques (Etude technique, Method of Physical Actions, Action Analysis) are discussed and experienced. Closer examination of Treplev’s play in play reveals how Action Analysis might be applied not only for psychological drama but to the nonrealistic playwriting (here, to symbolic drama) as well.

Workshop fees:

Participants: €400 Student & unwaged: €300

Attendants: €200Student & unwaged: €100 

For info and booking please send your application and brief cv to: kiki.selioni@cssd.ac.uk

The full call is here

Call for Papers: Training for Performance Art and Live Art

“Action/Ideas” workshop at Cardiff College of Art (UK) in the early 1970s; photographer unknown

This special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) is interested in the training of performance and live artists – its forms, histories, pedagogies, geographies, institutions and anti-institutions, and its legacies. To speak of ‘training’ in this context may seem surprising as the term evokes notions of tradition, technique and canon that performance and live art have frequently challenged or abandoned altogether. And biographies of performance and live artists often imply that their artistic formation occurred despite rather than because of the formal training they received at art colleges and universities. Yet, the making of performance and live art requires many skills and knowledges, whether embodied or conceptual, compositional or professional, and such skills and knowledges have been the subject of a multiplicity of approaches to their nurture and development.

Training for Performance Art and Live Art is interested in tracking the approaches to training in performance and live art as they have emerged both within and outside the contexts of formal education. The histories of performance art and live art are deeply imbricated with those of education and its institutions. Many artists who have shaped performance and live art have also been committed teachers and activists educators; pedagogical approaches to their teaching emerged alongside the performance practices themselves; educational institutions offered material support for the making of performance works and provided a living for its artists; and the integration of performance into their provision has led to changes to the organisational structures and procedures of art schools and universities. At the same time, performance and live artists have devised radical artist-led modelsof anti-training, created non-institutional spaces of learning and adopted events and publications as alternative forms of curricula.

This call for contributions invites textual, visual or performative submissions (see below) that examine the role that training and education have played for performance and live art. We are particularly keen to receive proposals that explore the theme from an historical perspective; and those that discuss local, translocal, national or transnational contexts for the pedagogical and training histories of performance and live art. We also encourage contributions that evaluate the legacies of these histories, and that assess their continuing relevance and potential for re-activation in the context of today’s predominantly normative, market-driven educational provision. Contributions that explore the methodological implications of documenting and researching what has gone on in the training spaces of performance and live art are also welcome.

We also welcome suggestions for recent books on the theme to be reviewed; or for foundational texts on the topic of performance and live art training to be re-reviewed. 

Innovative cross-over print/digital formats are possible, including the submission of audiovisual training materials, which can be housed on this online interactive Theatre, Dance and Performance Training blog: http://theatredanceperformancetraining.org/

Areas of interest for the Special Issue include (but are not limited to):

• distinct pedagogical approaches to the teaching of performance and live artists

• experimental and alternative modes of training in performance and live art

• models of anti-training in performance

• the role of educational institutions in the emergence of performance art and live art

• the role of anti-institutional, counter-educational or deschooling initiatives in the emergence of performance art and live art (eg. anti-universities; artist-run schools; cooperatives; workshops; laboratories)

• approaches to learning and ’unlearning’ in performance training

• models of the ‘self-taught’ performance artist

• training as continuing artistic practice

• translocal or transnational exchanges and collaborations (eg. festivals; residencies; magazines; mail art) and their impact on the pedagogies of performance and live art

• the impact of key teachers on the development of performance and live art (eg. John Cage; Joseph Beuys; Allan Kaprow; Suzanne Lacy; Alastair MacLennan; Marina Abramović; Anthony Howell; Alanna O’Kelly; Doris Stauffer; Roy Ascott; Rose Finn-Kelcey; etc)

• publications on the pedagogy and training of performance and live art (eg. Anthony Howell; Charles Garioan; Marilyn Arsem) and their impact

• artists books; charts; games or kits as alternative curriculum models for performance and live art 

• alternative spaces and models for intergenerational exchanges in the framework of teaching and learning performance and live art

• the documentation of teaching practices in the field of performance and live art

• research approaches to the histories of training in performance and live art

• the impact of the ‘pedagogization’ of performance and live art on artistic development

• institutional legacies of performance art training

• strategies for the re-activation of past pedagogies for the future ofperformance and live art

About Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT)

Special Issues of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) are an essential part of its offer and complement the open issues in each volume. TDPTis an international academic journal devoted to all aspects of ‘training’ (broadly defined) within the performing arts. It was founded in 2010 and launched its own blog in 2015. Our target readership comprises scholars and the many varieties of professional performers, makers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs and composers working in theatre, dance, performance and live art who have an interest in the practices of training. TDPT’s co-editors are Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Submitting a proposal:

To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue please contact Heike Roms for an initial exchange of ideas/thoughts or email a proposal (max 300 words) to Heike Roms at h.roms@exeter.ac.uk

Firm proposals for all three sections (Articles, Sources or Training Grounds) must be received by 1 May 2019 at the latest.

Please identify the intended format for your proposed contribution; and whether you would like it to be considered for the “Articles”, “Sources” or “Training Ground” section and/or the blog.

Issue Schedule:

1 May 2019: Proposals to be submitted to Heike Roms h.roms@exeter.ac.uk

31 May 2019: Response from editor and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution

June to End August 2019: Writing/preparation period 

Start Sept to end October 2019: Peer review period

November 2019 – end January 2020: Author revisions post peer review

June 2020: Publication as Issue 11.2

Stanislavsky Research Centre Launch

Please join us for the inaugural event of the Stanislavsky Research Centre based at the University of Leeds.

‘The Inner Creative State: Practical Stanislavsky for the 21st-Century Actor’

A Practical Lecture/Presentation to celebrate the launch of the Stanislavsky Research Centre, by Bella Merlin, PhD.

May 7th 2019 (5-7.30pm) Alec Clegg Studio, stage@leeds, University of Leeds

In our increasingly digitized and visual industry, actors have to adapt their skillsets constantly for different media, styles of storytelling and myriad roles. How might we develop our ‘inner creative state’ so that we can remain professionally flexible, imaginatively available and emotionally thin-skinned? 

In this practical lecture/presentation, Bella Merlin draws upon recent experience in film, theatre and actor training to share how Stanislavsky’s ‘toolkit’ provides a sound bedrock for developing our ‘inner creative state’. Using the fundamental principles of Active Analysis, along with tools including a ‘constant state of inner improvisation’, the ‘creation of the living word’ and ‘dual consciousness’, Merlin addresses how practice-as-research can take us deeper into our acting processes. 

Bella Merlin, PhD. is an actor, writer and Professor of Acting and Directing at the University California, Riverside. Her publications include The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit (NHB, 2014), Konstantin Stanislavsky (Routledge, 2018), and Facing the Fear: An Actor’s Guide to Overcoming Stage Fright (NHB, 2016).

Tickets are free but registration is essential:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stanislavsky-research-centre-launch-a-practical-lecture-by-bella-merlin-tickets-57588750503

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception with more details about the Centre’s programme of activities.

We look forward to welcoming you to Leeds.

Paul Fryer (Director)

Jonathan Pitches (Deputy Director)

Research Event at Leeds: Training for Directing


School of Performance and Cultural Industries

Alec Clegg Studio

University of Leeds

Monday February 11th, 5-7pm

Organised by the Performance Training, Preparation and Pedagogy Research Group

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Join us for an exciting evening dedicated to Directing including:

a talk by Professor Simon Shepherd (Central School of Speech and Drama) and sharing of work in progress of Phaedra I  by Persona Theatre Company and directed by Dr Avra Sidiropoulou, Open University of Cyprus, followed by a roundtable discussion with the creative team.

The event will conclude with a wine reception and the launch of the series The Great European Stage Directors edited by Simon Shepherd and Directions for Directing by Avra Sidiropoulou (2018). 

Phaedra I  ­is a solo multimedia portrayal of a modern-day Phaedra, bearing all the ambiguities of a restless, contemporary woman who oscillates between the desires of the body and the attraction to the void, suffocating in her socially imposed roles within the ruins of a decaying metropolis. The production’s use of 3-D mapping, video projections and minimalist aesthetics yields a highly poetic visual journey through Phaedra’s stations of personal and public history. Phaedra I—is being realized with the kind support of the J.F.Costopoulos Foundation.

Simon Shepherd will ask ‘What do directors direct?’, building on his previous reflections on the specific role of the director. This, will be argued, is as distinct from the activity of directing.  In answering this question, the talk shall suggest the key things directors need to be able to do, and consequently what they have to learn.

Please RSVP to Linda Watson, Linda Watson, L.M.Watson@leeds.ac.uk, by Thursday the 7th of February. 

Bertolt Brecht: Contradictions as a Method

An international symposium presented by DAMU and The S Word 

Legacy and the live tradition: acting, directing, thinking…

8th to 10th November 2019, @ Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU), Prague, Czech Republic.

DAMU and The S Word present a symposium on the theatrical legacy of one of the most influential personalities of 20th century theatre and his relationship to Konstantin Stanislavsky.

Under the auspices of Jan Hančil, rector of AMU and the minister of  Education  of The Czech Republic, the symposium will bring together scholars and theatre practitioners; explore Brecht‘s influence on the work of directors and acting teachers, and the relationship between Brecht and Stanislavsky;  trace the influences  on  the approach  to directing  theatre in various  countries, to playwriting  and consider Brecht‘s  politics and  theatre  as highly social  art. A Comparison with Stanislavsky‘s approach to theatre training, the  development  of modern  theatre  directing, and dramatic, alternative and authorial theatre will also be explored.

Guest speakers, paper presentations, workshops  and panel  debates  will take  place  in three focus areas:

Brecht,  his  legacy and  modern  theatre practice  will  examine Bertolt  Brecht’s  influence in the fields of theatre directing, modern stagecraft, scenography and playwriting and his continuing impact on the modern  theatre.

Brecht, Stanislavski and the actor focusing on comparison and aspects of actor training and the actor’s work as reflected in the brechtian and stanislavskian traditions. We will explore new developments and interpretations in each of these and their influence and impact on contemporary state of the art psychology, neuroscience and theatre studies.

Brecht’s Theatre practice and criticism (historical and theoretical background and new research achievements)

Guest speakers, paper presentations, workshops  and  panel  debates  will  take  place  in  three focus areas:

Brecht,  his  legacy and  modern  theatre practice  will  examine Bertolt  Brecht’s  influence in the fields of theatre directing, modern stagecraft, scenography and playwriting and his continuing impact on the modern  theatre.

Brecht, Stanislavski and the actor focusing on comparison and aspects of actor training and the actor’s work as reflected in the brechtian andstanislavskian traditions. We will explore new developments and interpretations in each of these and their influence and impact on contemporarystate of the art psychology, neuroscience and theatre studies.

Brecht’s Theatre practice and criticism (historical and theoretical background and new research achievements)

Keynote speakers:

Professor Stephen Parker (Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester, UK.), author of Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life(Bloomsbury) described by The London Review of Books as a “superb biography of a great iconoclastic writer”.

Professor Jean-Louis Besson (Professor Emeritus, University of Paris-Ouest-Nanterre-La Defense), author of over 100 publications,translations, articles and papers, including “Brecht and the centaurs” and “Brecht in Hollywood”.

Special Guest speaker:

Thomas Ostermeier the distinguished multi-award-winning international theatre director, whose work is often seen at the Schaubühne, Berlin.

Guest speakers/workshop leaders include:

Professor David Barnett (University of York), author of A History of the Berliner Ensemble (Cambridge University Press), and Brecht in Practice(Bloomsbury).

Stephen Unwin, theatre director and author of The Complete Brecht Toolkit (Nick Hern Books), and A Guide to the Plays of Bertolt Brecht(Methuen).

David Zoob (Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, UK.), author of Brecht: A Practical Handbook (Nick Hern Books)

NB. speakers are subject to final confirmation.

We now invite proposals for the following:

paper presentations (20 minutes), workshops (40 minutes) and panel presentations of a minimum of 3 speakers (60 minutes).

Submissions (not more than 300 words) should be accompanied by a short biographical note, and must be received by 14th June 2019

Please send by email to Prof. Paul Fryer (paul@paulfryer.me.uk).

Selected papers from this event will be published in a special edition of the journal Stanislavski Studies (Taylor & Francis) in Autumn 2020.

The S Word is in Malta


The Stanislavsky Research Centre, and The Department of Theatre Studies (University of Malta) in collaboration with The University of California Riverside.5th, 6th, 7th April 2019 @ The Valletta Campus of the University of Malta, Valletta, Malta.

Please join us for the 4th international S Word symposium.
Programme includes: Keynote speakers, Prof. Laurence Senelick (Tufts University) and Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona (University of Malta), a special presentation by Prof. Sergei Tcherkasski (St. Petersburg Academy), 25 papers and 8 practical workshops covering a wide range of topics including Stanislavsky and Yoga, Active Analysis, Grotowski, Stanislavsky in contemporary teaching and training, Boleslavsky and Scenic Realism.

Our symposium shows a dual ambition.with presentations that reflect on Stanislavsky’s work within the social, cultural, and political milieus in which it developed without however forgetting the ways in which this work was transmitted, adapted, and appropriated within recent and current theatre contexts. The Symposium’s reach, therefore, is both historical as well as contemporary, and participants are encouraged to think of Stanislavsky both as an instigator of modern theatre as well as a paradigm for performance practices within twenty-first-century training and performance scenarios. 

Selected papers and other material from this event will be published in a special edition of the journal, Stanislavski Studies, in March 2020.

Registration for this event is now open online:

https://www.um.edu.mt/events/stanislavski2019/registration

Standard Registration Fee (until 29 March 2019 midnight CET): EUR 225.

Members of SCUDD, ATHE and FDS: EUR 160.

Concessions (including students, unemployed, pensioners): EUR 100.

This event is generously supported by the School of Performing Arts of the University of Malta.

Get your doctoral training at the School with industry in its name

The School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds is currently seeking applicants for 4 Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) to begin in October 2019.

We are seeking highly motivated individuals, with academic and professional experience and a willingness to contribute to the research needs of our partners, to undertake fully funded doctoral research, supervised by members of academic staff and industry professionals in the following projects:

Researching Radicalism in the North: Embedding New Modes of Dramaturgical Research at Red Ladder Theatre

Developing audiences for drama: a critical analysis of England’s regional touring strategy

Innovative Approaches to Ballet Audience Development with Young Asian Communities

A new model for large-scale community performance – SlungLow and Leeds Peoples’ Theatre

For more information and deadlines for the applications, please click on the links above or visit: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/performance-research-degrees/doc/scholarships-7/page/1

 

 

CfP – The S Word: Stanislavski in Context

 Annual Symposium organised by

The Stanislavski Centre and The Department of Theatre Studies (University of Malta)

in collaboration with The University of California Riverside.

5th, 6th, 7thApril 2019

Venue:                     The Valletta Campus of the University of Malta, Valletta, Malta

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Laurence Senelick (Tufts University)

Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona (University of Malta)

Co-conveners:

Prof. Paul Fryer (The Stanislavski Centre)

Dr Stefan Aquilina (University of Malta)

Creative Adviser:        Prof. Bella Merlin (University of California Riverside)

 

Following on from the past three successful editions of the Symposium, we are very pleased to announce the Call for Papers/Presentations for the fourth major event of The S Word project.

In choosing ‘Stanislavski in Context’ as its title, the 2019 edition of The S Word Symposium shows a dual ambition. It invites proposals that reflect on Stanislavski’s work within the social, cultural, and political milieus in which it developed without however forgetting the ways in which this work was transmitted, adapted, and appropriated within recent and current theatre contexts. The Symposium’s reach, therefore, is both historical as well as contemporary, and participants are encouraged to think of Stanislavski both as an instigator of modern theatre as well as a paradigm for performance practices within twenty-first-century training and performance scenarios.

We invite proposals for contributions in the following formats:

  • an individual conventional paper (20 minutes);
  • practical/workshop sessions (40 minutes);
  • panel presentations (a minimum of three participants) (60 minutes);
  • and, for the first time this year, practice-as-research sessions/practical presentations (20 minutes).

In the first instance please send a short written proposal (no more than 300 words) to Prof. Paul Fryer (paul@paulfryer.me.uk) and Dr Stefan Aquilina (stefan.aquilina@um.edu.mt), to arrive no later than 30thNovember 2018. Please include a short bionote.

Booking for this event will open on 1st September 2018.

This event is generously supported by the School of Performing Arts of the University of Malta, and presented in association with Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (UK).

Week extension to Book Reviews Editor Deadline – Now 18th May

Call for Book Reviews Editor (Extended Deadline)

Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT), Routledge

 The co-editors of the international journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training,Professor Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Dr Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London) are seeking to recruit a Book Reviews Editor to work closely with them and with the rest of the editorial team, on this very successful journal, published by Routledge.  Now in its 8thyear, the journal runs to 3 issues annually and attracts contributions from scholars and practitioners across the globe. As part of our tenth birthday celebrations, we are planning to expand to four issues per year and this appointment is a reflection of our expansion both in ambition and audience reach.

We seek a highly creative, motivated, organised and collegiate individual with demonstrable specialism in theatre, dance and / or performer training to oversee a step-change in the review provision the journal offers. We pride ourselves on the diversity of reviews offered within the pages of TDPT and as such we are dividing up the Review Editor role into two – with the review of training events already covered by current editorial expertise.  The new Book Reviews Editor will work closely with the Events Review Editor building up the Books Review section of the journal to provide an appropriately global perspective on publications in the field, offering both critical and celebratory impetus to performer training research. Our book reviews section includes critical evaluation of new books and reviews of classic texts (often by invested practitioners) and it will be part of the Editor’s brief to innovate further within this remit, perhaps to establish dialogic reviews or themed reviews of more than one book.

In addition to the opportunities to shape the book reviews development, working on TDPT will offer you unique insights into academic publication and provide you with opportunities to develop your own networks with scholars and practitioners, as well as to contribute to wider discussions about the content and continued development of the journal.

You should be:

  • An active researcher of performer training with a good knowledge base of current published work in the field.
  • Networked nationally and/or internationally in performer training circles.
  • An individual with some experience of editing and/or peer review in theatre related academic work.
  • Interested and embedded in the contemporary debates concerning training and performance and committed to the principles of ethical research.
  • Highly organised, efficient with excellent communication skills.

Book Reviewer Editor’s responsibilities include:

  • Leading on the development of an internationally ambitious reviews section, with critical insight and imagination.
  • Establishing relationships with appropriate publishers and acting as a conduit for review writers.
  • Inviting or commissioning book reviews and ‘Re-reviews’ from appropriate people in the field of performer training.
  • Working closely with Review writers to ensure a fit with the TDPT ethos and style.
  • Liaising with the Journal’s co-editors and Special Issue guest editors to provide regular updates on the status and content of submitted Reviews.
  • Acting as an advocate for the journal at conferences and symposia.
  • Managing the submission of Review manuscripts through the web-based submission tool ScholarOne.
  • Attending if possible the Associate Editors’ AGM (either in person or by Skype).
  • Liaising with publishing staff at Routledge, Taylor and Francis as required.

In keeping with the rest of the roles in the TDPT team, the post is unpaid but all travel and expenses will be paid.

To apply please send a CV and a one-page statement of your relevant skills, and interests including your aspirations for building an exceptional profile for the Book Reviews section in TDPT to j.pitches@leeds.ac.ukand libby.worth@leeds.ac.uk

For more information and an informal discussion please contact: Professor Jonathan Pitches j.pitches@leeds.ac.ukand/or Dr Libby Worth libby.Worth@rhul.ac.uk

Deadline for applications is 5pm(GMT), May 18th 2018.

Challenging the challenges facing C21st Theatre Training

A response to Zazzali and Klein’s ‘Toward Revising Undergraduate Theatre Education’ (2015).

 

Framing Statement

Despite its focus on US Higher Education, Peter Zazzali and Jeanne Klein’s 2015 article for Theater Topics, ‘Toward Revising Undergraduate Theatre Education’ has provoked several discussions within our UK-based Research Group. The following series of reflections are an attempt to capture some of our discussions and to draw out some urgent, if familiar, themes.

In their introduction, Zazzali and Klein make two clear statements of intent:

First, we address several interdependent challenges facing undergraduate theatre training and the changing characteristics of today’s students. We then offer initiatives for revising an undergraduate theatre curriculum. (2015: 261)

As a Research Group, with a range of distinct teaching and research areas (including performer training, directing, applied theatre and technical theatre), we offer here, in a series of blog essays, a set of critical responses to the context sketched out in Zazzali & Klein’s essay.  With diverse teaching experience and from backgrounds in Greece, Cyprus, South Africa, Malta, the US and England, the group has used the essay to provoke consideration of both parts of Zazzali and Klein’s remit: current challenges and future actions for C21st Theatre Training. In necessarily individual, sometimes strident position statements, we consider an alternative landscape of pedagogical challenge and curriculum revision.  Our first essays cover the following themes: employability challenges in the neoliberal context of Higher Education and the means by which they might be countered; technology and pedagogy; interdisciplinarity and research-led teaching; lighting, training and collaboration.

Contributions are by members of the Performance Training, Preparation and Pedagogy Research Group, University of Leeds. 

Performance Training, Preparation and Pedagogy

 

 

Call for Book Reviews Editor

Call for Book Reviews Editor

Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT), Routledge

The co-editors of the international journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Professor Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Dr Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London) are seeking to recruit a Book Reviews Editor to work closely with them and with the rest of the editorial team, on this very successful journal, published by Routledge.  Now in its 9th year, the journal runs to 3 issues annually and attracts contributions from scholars and practitioners across the globe. As part of our tenth birthday celebrations, we are planning to expand to four issues per year and this appointment is a reflection of our expansion both in ambition and audience reach.

We seek a highly creative, motivated, organised and collegiate individual with demonstrable specialism in theatre, dance and / or performer training to oversee a step-change in the review provision the journal offers. We pride ourselves on the diversity of reviews offered within the pages of TDPT and as such we are dividing up the Review Editor role into two – with the review of training events already covered by current editorial expertise.  The new Book Reviews Editor will work closely with the Events Review Editor building up the books review section of the journal to provide an appropriately global perspective on publications in the field, offering both critical and celebratory impetus to performer training research. Our book reviews section includes critical evaluation of new books and reviews of classic texts (often by invested practitioners) and it will be part of the Editor’s brief to innovate further within this remit, perhaps to establish dialogic reviews or themed reviews of more than one book.

In addition to the opportunities to shape the book reviews development, working on TDPT will offer you unique insights into academic publication and provide you with opportunities to develop your own networks with scholars and practitioners, as well as to contribute to wider discussions about the content and continued development of the journal.

You should be:

  • An active researcher of performer training with a good knowledge base of current published work in the field.
  • Networked nationally and/or internationally in performer training circles.
  • An individual with some experience of editing and/or peer review in theatre related academic work.
  • Interested and embedded in the contemporary debates concerning training and performance and committed to the principles of ethical research.
  • Highly organised, efficient with excellent communication skills.

Book Reviewer Editor’s responsibilities include:

  • Leading on the development of an internationally ambitious reviews section, with critical insight and imagination.
  • Establishing relationships with appropriate publishers and acting as a conduit for review writers.
  • Inviting or commissioning book reviews and ‘Re-reviews’ from appropriate people in the field of performer training.
  • Working closely with Review writers to ensure a fit with the TDPT ethos and style.
  • Liaising with the Journal’s co-editors and Special Issue guest editors to provide regular updates on the status and content of submitted Reviews.
  • Acting as an advocate for the journal at conferences and symposia.
  • Managing the submission of Review manuscripts through the web-based submission tool ScholarOne.
  • Attending if possible the Associate Editors’ AGM (either in person or by Skype).
  • Liaising with publishing staff at Routledge, Taylor & Francis as required.

In keeping with the rest of the roles in the TDPT team, the post is unpaid but all travel and expenses will be paid.

To apply please send a CV and a one-page statement of your relevant skills, and interests including your aspirations for building an exceptional profile for the Book Reviews section in TDPT to j.pitches@leeds.ac.uk and libby.worth@leeds.ac.uk

For more information and an informal discussion please contact: Professor Jonathan Pitches j.pitches@leeds.ac.uk and/or Dr Libby Worthlibby.Worth@rhul.ac.uk

 

Deadline for applications is 5pm (GMT), May 21st 2018.

 

Writing for Publication Special Event at Rose Bruford June 9th

Saturday 9th June 2018 between 10am and 4pm at Rose Bruford College

On behalf of the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal, the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, Manchester School of Theatre and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, we are delighted to invite you to this FREE event:

Practise, Reflect, Share: Writing for Publication

Building on the success of Practise, Reflect, Share: Ways into Research in June 2017, this follow-up day aimed at colleagues involved in the training of performers, directors, designers and technicians, offers an opportunity to explore ways into writing that draw on teaching, professional practice or practice-as-research. Hosted by Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, the event will offer practical guidance, workshop sessions and discussion about how to begin to write for publications, focusing mainly on articles. What does an abstract look like and what makes a good one? How to develop and structure a longer piece? What does the peer review process involve? How best to use images and supporting material? If you are thinking about working on an article and would like to know more about the route to publication, then this event will prove both informative and stimulating!

Please follow the following link to book for this event:

https://store.bruford.ac.uk/product-catalogue/research-centres/research-events/the-stanislavski-centre/practise-reflect-share

Please feel free to contact David Shirley (d.g.shirley@mmu.ac.uk) directly if you have any questions or require further information.

Meyerhold’s Biomechanics – online training course February 2018

An online course based on Meyerhold’s biomechanics is running again on the FutureLearn Platform in February 2018

Free registration for the course is here

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/physical-theatre/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=students&utm_campaign=physical-theatre-3

I am really looking forward to having students from all over the world studying this remarkable form with me and my colleagues from the University of Leeds.

The S Word: A Practical Acting Laboratory – 2018

 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE

Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production

in collaboration with The Stanislavski Centre, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance

present

Stanislavski

The S Word: A Practical Acting Laboratory

April 6-8, 2018

University of California, Riverside

Co-convenors: Bella Merlin, UCR and Paul Fryer, RBC

A practice-based research weekend, applying actor training to global questions surrounding empathy, dynamic listening, ceremony, healing, and the power of language.

Featuring three internationally acclaimed acting practitioners:

Sharon M. Carnicke (author of Stanislavsky in Focus)

Tina Packer (founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company)

Kimberly Guerrero (co-founder of the Stylehorse Collective).

A special edition of The Stanislavski Studies journal in 2019 will feature articles on practice-based research arising from the weekend.

Registration Deadline: January 12, 2018

Register online

Learn more

Part of a series of international events featuring Stanislavski and actor-training.

Sponsors: University of California, Riverside, Departments of Theatre, Film and Digital Production; English; Dance; Office of the Dean, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; Office of International Affairs; Culver Center of the Arts; City of Riverside and Riverside Arts Council.

 

Call for contributions TDPT 10.3: What is New in Voice Training?

Special issue entitled What is New in Voice Training? To be published in TDPT Vol 10.3 (September 2019)

Call for contributions, ideas, proposals and dialogue with the editor

Guest edited by Konstantinos Thomaidis, University of Exeter (K.Thomaidis@exeter.ac.uk).

 

Background and context

This will be the 11th Special Issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) following issues on a range of topics including sport, politics, Feldenkrais, writing training, interculturalism and digital training. TDPT is an international journal devoted to all aspects of ‘training’ (broadly defined) within the performing arts. The journal was founded in 2010 and launched its own blog in 2015. Our target readership is both academic and the many varieties of professional performers, makers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs and composers working in theatre, dance and live art who have an interest in and curiosity for reflecting on their practices and their training. TDPT’s co-editors are Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Call Outline: What is New in Voice Training?

Voice has returned to academic discourse with renewed force. 20th-century philosophical and critical debates may have generated important questions around speech, vocality and listening (particularly through the works of Lacan, Derrida, Merleau-Ponty, Ihde, Barthes and Kristeva), but the first two decades of the 21st century have witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of publications taking voice as their main area of enquiry (see Connor, Cavarero, Dolar, Neumark, among others). In the same period, a similar plurality marked the way voice is practised in performance, particularly in its entanglement with new media, new scenic and everyday architectures as well as new hybrid genres and aesthetics. The emergent field of voice studies situates itself at the juncture of these practical and theoretical advances and advocates for research in and through voice that is markedly praxical, international and interdisciplinary in scope.

In bringing the concerns of this new inter-discipline to bear on performance studies, this issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training proposes a timely re-examination of voice in performer training. The literature on voice and the pedagogy of performance is, of course, vast. In the case of singing, it is largely dominated by paradigms appropriate for operatic and musical theatre performance. In the case of speech training, areas that have been systematically explored include the pedagogies developed by an influential generation of mid-twentieth-century, UK- and US-based speech trainers—and, to a lesser extent, the voice practices pertaining to (post)Grotowskian lineages or integrating first-wave somatics into voice work. While drawing impetus from these significant insights, the purpose of this special issue is to lend an attentive ear to emergent or less widely circulated training methodologies and to chart the rapidly shifting landscape of voice training.

 In other words, it wishes to ask: What is new in voice training? Continue reading

A Climber Prepares

A Climber Prepares/Acting Craft: exploring connection points between climbing and performance training

 

Introduction

In recent years a critical turn in performer training has been widely acknowledged, much of it associated with research emerging from the Performer Training Working Group of TaPRA and associated bodies such as the International Platform for Performer Training founded in Helsinki 5 years ago. The Routledge Performance Practitioner series of books, edited by Franc Chamberlain and launched in 2003, is being reissued and will complement a brand-new series of critical interventions into training edited by Rebecca Loukes and Maria Kapsali. Articles and special issues of the journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training continue to advance the field which now draws readily on historiography, gender studies, cultural materialism, intercultural and postcolonial theory, political theory and philosophy, as well as on many other approaches. Performer Training research is critically self-reflexive, mobile and interdisciplinary, revisiting terms established early in its life – neutrality, energy, truth – with the doubt born of a mature and established discipline.

Whilst it emerged as a field of literature at very much the same time as some of the first reflections on theatre training – in the early C20th – Mountain Training research cannot claim an equivalent turn to criticality, either historically or in the last few years.   Indeed, recent publications in the field of climbing training reflect the same pragmatic approach taken by the first classics – Abraham’s The Complete Mountaineer (Abraham, 1907), Winthrop Young’s Mountain Craft (Young, 1920) or Raeburn’s Mountaineering Art  (Raeburn, 1920) – even if they do reveal new emphases in the sport – on indoor training walls, for instance (White, 2013) and speed climbing for the ‘new alpinism’ (House & Johnston, 2014).  Mountain studies is a very complex and fertile field of interdisciplinary research, which draws together ideas from the STEM areas of geology, physical geography, ecology, and health studies, right through to anthropology, sport and leisure studies, and cultural studies, including a rich seam of creative literature. But the subset of mountain studies dedicated to writing on training is strangely removed from this bigger field of critical inter-disciplinarity, and seems still to prioritise instruction over critical reflection.

Continue reading

Now available: Volume 8.2 – Training the Popular Performer

We are delighted to announce that the latest special issue for TDPT has just been published online: Training the Popular Performer.

TDPT 8.2 offers a fantastic line up of essays curated by Adam Ainsworth, Oliver Double & Louise Peacock, with Training Grounds materials edited by Kate Craddock.

You can read the editorial here for free and find the whole issue online here.

We hope you like it!

Call for Sources: Embodied archives – capturing the work of our teachers and our teachers’ teachers

Further to the very successful Practice, Reflect and Share day at Rose Bruford, TDPT would like to offer a bespoke call for practitioner-researchers interested in capturing the work of significant practitioners and teachers who have had a demonstrable influence both personally and in the training sector. The urgency to record some of this work we think might profitably be met by considering the section we call Sources in the TDPT journal:

In its Sources section TDPT provides an outlet for the documentation and analysis of primary materials of performer training, whilst the Articles section allows for discursive contributions in a range of critical and creative formats, including visual essays.

Sources are normally between 5500 and 6500 words and are treated in the same way as discursive article with full peer view by two experts. Our full submission directions are here:

http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rtdp (click on the ‘submit an article’):

Submissions are through our peer review portal, Scholar 1:

http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rtdp

You may also of course want to consider publishing to this blog space for the journal  – either in association with a Source or separately. We also offer a platform for video materials on this blog if you have appropriate materials:

http://theatredanceperformancetraining.org

Help and support in the development of these papers is available and we are keen to offer a mentoring service for those new to academic publishing. For further details please contact David Shirley (D.G.Shirley@mmu.ac.uk) or speak to any of us below.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Jonathan Pitches, Libby Worth, David Shirley  and Paul Allain

 

New Publication and Book Launch: Stanislavsky in the World

I am delighted to announce that, after five years of work,  Stanislavsky in the World: The System and its Transformation across Continents, has just been published, co-edited with Dr Stefan Aquilina of the University of Malta.

 

More information can be found by following this link: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/stanislavsky-in-the-world-9781472587886

The book maps the movement of Stanislavsky’s system across five continents, revealing undiscovered paths of transmission and examining wider questions of embodied history and tradition building. To make its point, it focuses on practices beyond Russia and the US – for too long accepted blindly as the two most-developed seats of Stanislavskian practice – and introduces readers and practitioners to new routes in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and South (Latin) America. We were joined by an internationally broad network of 18 scholars and practitioners to take on some knotty and current questions – of transformation, translation, appropriation and resistance. The book will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to Stanislavsky studies but recent research on theatre and interculturalism, globalisation, and postcolonialism will also be boosted by these findings.

 

Contributions include:

  • Marie-ChristineAutant-Mathieu’s discussion of selected affinities between Stanislavsky and the French Theatre Tradition;
  • Franco Ruffini’s detailed account of the 1960 court case in Bari that questioned the reach of Elizabeth Reynolds’ copyright claims on Stanislavsky’s books;
  • Stefan Aquilina’s exposition of how the System was processed in the amateur theatre context of Malta;
  • Ina Pukelytė’s discussion on a heavily institutionalised reading of Stanislavsky in Lithuania;
  • Maria Gaitanidi’s elaboration of Stanislavsky’s impact on both modern theatre and contemporary actor training in Greece;
  • Siyuan Liu’s analysis of Stanislavsky’s impact on a Chinese School of Performance and Directing;
  • Raúl Serrano’s teacher-perspective on current Stanislavskian teaching at the Escuela de Teatro de Buenos Aires inArgentina;
  • Kene Igweonu’s exposition on Stanislavsky’s interaction with the Nigerian cultural environment as a series of convergences and counterpoints;
  • Hilary Halba’s account on the System experienced through the Maori World in New Zealand;
  • Syed Jamil Ahmed’s articulation of the System as postcolonial appropriation and assimilation in Bangladesh.

The book’s official launch will be held as follows:

Date:                5th June 2017

Time:               17:00

Venue:             Alec Clegg Studio, stage@leeds building, University of Leeds

For more information please contact us on j.pitches@leeds.ac.uk or stefan.aquilina@um.edu.mt

 

Edward Braun Obituary

Remembering Edward Braun

(1936-2017)

Terence Mann

Whilst at Drama School in 1994, during rehearsals for Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide, I read Meyerhold on Theatre. At that point in time I had never heard of Vsevelod Meyerhold or Theatrical Biomechanics but that book was to be the start of a fascination with Russian Theatre, Meyerhold and in particular his actor training system Biomechanics, which has continued to this day. Little did I know back then, that some 20 years later I would be delivering a workshop and a paper on Meyerhold’s Biomechanics at Hull University in the presence of the book’s author Edward Braun.

I was a little nervous when I heard that Edward Braun would be there. After the presentation I was introduced to Edward (Ted) and much to my relief, he had some very kind things to say about the workshop. He talked about the time he spent in Russia in the 1960’s and how he had met Meyerhold’s daughter. Some weeks later we were hosting a series of workshops at the University of Central Lancashire with the world’s leading exponent in Theatrical Biomechanics, Gennady Bogdanov. I asked Ted if he would like to meet Gennady and he accepted the invitation.

Ted sat for several hours totally absorbed in the work. As he watched, I was acutely aware it was highly likely that he had seen Meyerhold’s daughter perform the same exercises some forty years earlier. We spent the evening in an Italian restaurant talking about Russia, Communism, Meyerhold, Biomechanics and….life. So, for a brief moment in our lives serendipity had brought us together; Gennady my teacher, his interpreter Svetlana, Edward Braun and I. I felt very privileged and quite humbled just being there. As the evening drew to a close and we walked Ted back to his hotel, I was struck by the fact that, had it not been for him, the four of us would never have met and I for one would certainly not be doing what I do today.

On hearing the sad news that Ted had died, I recalled the time I had spent in his company in 2015. He was extremely generous, courteous, erudite, enthusiastic, warm, and witty.

Listening to Jonathan Pitches last interview with Ted, as he talked about Biomechanics, I was quite surprised and rather moved to hear Ted talk about “being in Preston with Terence and Gennady.” It was as if he had known us for years and in a way, via Mr. Meyerhold……. I suppose he had. Although I only met Ted briefly; I will always remember him. RIP Ted.

 

Terence Mann (Chapman) is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for BA Acting at UCLAN.  He has worked with some of the most innovative theatre companies and directors in Europe and is regarded as one of the country’s leading practitioners in Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics.

Call for Contributions for Special Issue: Digital Training

Please find all the details of this exciting call for TDPT Vol 10.2 (2019) as a PDF in the link below

Digital Training cfp

Guest coedited by Professor Paul Allain (University of Kent), Stacie Lee Bennett (University of Kent and freelance film-maker) and Professor Frank Camilleri (University of Malta) with blog and Training Grounds editor James McLaughlin.

To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue please contact Paul Allain for an initial exchange of ideas/thoughts or email an abstract or proposal (max 300 words) to Paul Allain: paa@kent.ac.uk. Questions about purely digital propositions can be sent to Stacie Lee Bennett: slb73@kent.ac.uk. Ideas for the blog and/or Training Grounds can be sent to James McLaughlin: jimmyacademy@gmail.com.  Firm proposals across all areas must be received by Paul Allain by 30 November 2017 at the latest.

Interview with Edward Braun

Below is a transcription and the audio files of the interview I conducted with Edward Braun in March 2015 at his home, as the new edition of the enormously influential Meyerhold on Theatre was being prepared.  Ted died a few days ago and this is posted with his wife Sarah’s blessing, to celebrate his brilliance as an academic and his generosity as a human being.

Below is the pdf of the transcribed interview and the audio files. Please share this widely and feel free to use any of the material if it is of use to your research.

Ted_Braun_Edited_Interview_4-3-15 corrected

 

Part 1: How was Meyerhold on Theatre conceived and put together?

 

Part 2: What binds the writings of Meyerhold on Theatre together?

 

Part 3: What are  Edward Braun’s favourite, or most significant, sections?

 

Thanks for listening

Jonathan Pitches

 

Feedback requested for new online digital performer training resource

A pilot has been launched by Profs Paul Allain and Frank Camilleri which promises to be a rich resource of training with a nice balance of student, teacher, trainee voices. To feedback on its development go to:

https://thedigitalperformer.co.uk/2016/10/04/test/

Their full message is below:

Our Leverhulme-funded project for Methuen Drama Bloomsbury is well underway. We are now seeking your input ahead of our second stage of filming in early January.
Please go to this website https://thedigitalperformer.co.uk and click on the Physical Actor Training section to view our films and provide your responses. All feedback will be anonymous. Do please share this as widely as possible.
The digitalperformer website will be developed further over the course of 2017 to house our research material and encourage dialogue.
Many thanks in advance for your contribution, which will make a vital difference to our resource.
Best wishes,
the A-Z team
Paul Allain, Stacie Lee Bennett, Frank Camilleri, Peter Hulton

 

 

Register for the TDPT Symposium: On Showing and Writing Training

 

 

Please join us for an afternoon of discussions and ideas to celebrate the launch of a special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training ‘On Showing and Writing Training’.

  • What is the difference between what you do and how you talk about what you do?
  • What remains unsaid? What remains undone? What gets undone?
  • What is impossible to explain?
  • Who do you think you’re talking to?

The issue brings together writing, improvisation, experimentation and images to explore how performance is made, represented and reproduced through training. In doing so, it addresses wider questions about pedagogy, the live and the remembered in relation to the practices of art.

This symposium will feature an artist’s response from the performer Karen Christopher, as well as talks and provocations from contributors Katrina Brown, Paola Crespi, Franc Chamberlain, Emma Cocker, Ysabel Clare, Joa Hug, Ben Spatz and John Hall.

‘On Showing and Writing Training’ was edited by Dick McCaw and guest-editor Mary Paterson.

 

Wednesday 30th November, 2 to 5 pm

Room 261

University of London, Senate House,
 Malet Street
, London, 
WC1E 7HU

Directions:  http://www.london.ac.uk/map.html

Tickets are free. Reserve them via  ShowingWritingTraining.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Any queries please contact: Libby.Worth@rhul.ac.uk

 

Issue 7.3: Training and Interculturalism is now available

The editors of TDPT and of this special issue on intercultural training (7.3) are delighted to announce that it is now available online. Check it out here:

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtdp20/current

If you don’t have institutional access the articles by Electa Behrens and Tara McAlister-Viel will be free-to-access very soon. In the meantime, the editorial by Phillip Zarrilli, T Sasitharan and Anuradha Kapur and the Training Grounds editorial by Royona Mitra are free-to-access permanently.

Please do let us know what you think.

Stanislavsky symposium – booking and call for papers

Dear Colleagues,
A brief update on information about The S Word event in Prague (24th to 26th March 2017).
The deadline for receiving proposals for papers, practical sessions or panels is 30th November 2016.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words.
Papers should be of a maximum 20 minutes, practical sessions 45 minutes, and panels with a minimum of 3 presenters, 60 minutes.
Proposals should be sent to me at this address (paul.fryer@bruford.ac.uk).
Online booking is available now.
There is an early-bird booking rate of £140 (representing a 30% reduction on the full rate) available up to 2nd January.
Please visit:

http://store.bruford.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&deptid=10&catid=115&prodvarid=229

Information on accommodation will be available at the end of November.
I shall look forward to seeing some of you in Prague.
Regards,
Paul.

Professor Paul Fryer FRSA, FHEA.

Associate Director of Research

Head of The Stanislavski Centre

Research Degrees Coordinator

Editor in Chief, Stanislavski Studies (Routledge/Taylor & Francis)

Futures (and pasts) of Performer Training: by Murray, Evans and Pitches

Anyone attending the Future of Performer Training conference at Coventry on November 4th and 5th 2016, might want to take a look at this joint paper by Simon Murray, Mark Evans and Jonathan Pitches.

And if you’re not coming, then we’d love some feedback. It’s a layered vision, imagining the pasts and possible futures of performer training.

Download it here: theatre_training_beyond_theatre_ideas_ch

 

Michael Chekhov Survey on behalf of MICHA

Please consider filing in this survey, designed to track the impact of Michael Chekhov and Chekhov training.
When MICHA formed in 1999 there were comparatively few places to practically engage the Chekhov technique. As our Association approaches our 20th anniversary we decided we want to understand more about how and where the work is adapting and thriving around the world. Toward this end we have created the ‘Michael Chekhov Survey’; and I am writing to invite you, as one of the leaders in the Chekhov community, to share the link to our survey with your community.
We will be gathering responses to our survey through October 31 and hope you can help us to reach out to all the corners of the Chekhov world. While some of the questions in the survey relate to MICHA directly, many do not and the individuals taking the survey can choose to answer only the questions that are relevant to their experiences. We hope to hear from performers, teachers, directors, scholars, art activists, art therapists and any others who are engaging the Michael Chekhov work in meaningful ways.

Thanks to those of you who have already answered the survey personally – and if you haven’t yet completed the survey, please do!
Here is the link to forward to your community so that they can connect with the survey:  https://www.cvent.com/d/yfqh6p
We look forward to sharing the outcome of the survey with the Chekhov community in the coming year.
Sincerely,
Jessica & Joanna
—-
Jessica Cerullo
MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, Managing Director

 

Joanna Merlin
MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, President