Thanks to those of you who have already answered the survey personally – and if you haven’t yet completed the survey, please do!
MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, Managing Director
Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT)
Special issue entitled Training for Immersive, Interactive and Participatory Performance to be published July 2018
Call for contributions, ideas, proposals and dialogue with the editor
Guest editor: Dr Campbell Edinborough, University of Hull (email@example.com)
Background and context
This will be the eighth Special Issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) following issues on sport, Michael Chekhov, politics, Feldenkrais, writing training, interculturalism and popular theatre. 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).
Training for Immersive, Interactive and Participatory Performance
The twenty-first century has seen a significant growth in the popularity of theatre forms that invite audiences to interact and participate with performers – often in unconventional performance contexts. This diversification within the landscape of contemporary performance has been accompanied by a blurring of traditional boundaries between theatre, cabaret, live art, installation and dance. This special issue of TDPT will question the impact of immersive, interactive and participatory forms of performance on training.
The special issue will:
Expressions of interest
We are particularly interested in (but are not limited to) submissions in the following areas:
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 Campbell Edinborough at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our first deadline for these is 30th November 2016.
Training Grounds: we will also be seeking contributions for the Training Grounds section of this special issue edited by this Special Issue’s Training Grounds editor, Thomas Wilson. Within TDPT, Training Grounds represents a playful space for shorter and perhaps more provocative and rhetorical contributions. Thus in our generic issues we have postcards (Training and …), responses to an ‘answer the question’, essais and reviews of events, workshops, conferences as well as books. Our Training Grounds section in special issues does not always follow this model so please contact Thomas Wilson (email@example.com) and Campbell Edinborough if you have ideas and suggestions.
Approximate timelines for this issue
Mid-September 2016: Call for papers published
30th November 2016: abstracts and proposals sent to Campbell Edinborough
February 2017: Response from editor and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution
March to mid September 2017: writing/preparation period for writers, artists etc.
Mid Sept to end October: peer review period
November 2017 – end January 2018: author revisions post peer review
End March 2018: All main articles into production with Routledge
Mid April 2018: Training Grounds articles into production
April- June 2018: typesetting, proofing, revises, editorial etc.
July 2018: publication as Issue 9.2.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The S Word: Merging Methodologies
Co-conveners: Prof Paul Fryer (Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance),
and Jakub Korčák (DAMU).
Creative Adviser: Prof Bella Merlin (University of California Riverside).
at DAMU Theatre Academy, Prague – 24th, 25th and 26th March, 2017
Keynote speakers – Professor Anatoly Smeliansky (Moscow Art Theatre School), Professor Jan Burian (General Director, Czech National Theatre).
Following on from our first international symposium (The S Word: Stanislavski and the Future of Acting) we are very pleased to announce the first Call for Papers/Presentations for the second major event which will take place in Prague, Czech Republic in March 2017.
Merging Methodologies invites you to explore how Stanislavski’s work and teaching has been adopted, adapted, developed and re-invented since his death in 1938.
How did Stanislavski’s disciples use his approach to theatre, and how did they make it their own; how has this approach been translated into other methods and how much have we lost in translation; who carries the torch for Stanislavski today and why; how do other (newer) methodologies compare and how much do they owe to what has gone before?
We invite written proposals for contributions in the following formats:
individual papers (20 minutes’ duration), practical/workshop sessions (45 minutes’ duration) and panel presentations (60 minutes’ duration).
In the first instance please send a short written proposal (no more than 300 words) to Prof. Paul Fryer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration for this event is now available online, please visit:
There is an early-bird booking rate (saving 30% on the Full fee) available until 1st December.
Details are below of an event in September looking at wider applications of the Chekhov technique.
Contact Tom Cornford or Cass Fleming directly for more information
Call for Editorial Assistant (s)
Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT), Routledge
The editorial team of the international journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training is seeking to recruit at least one Editorial Assistant to work closely with our two Editors, Professor Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Dr Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London) on this very successful journal, published by Routledge. Now in its seventh year, the journal runs to 3 issues annually and attracts contributions from scholars and practitioners across the globe.
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 discussions about the content and continued development of the journal. It will offer you good grounding for editorial projects you might want to take on in the future and help demystify the process of journal publication.
You should be:
Editorial Assistants’ responsibilities include:
Candidates with appropriate skills and interests may also offer assistance to the journal’s blog team led by Dr Laura Bissell (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).
The post is unpaid but all travel and expenses will be paid.
To apply please send a one-page statement of your relevant skills, interests and aspirations for the journal with an accompanying CV to email@example.com.
Deadline is 8th September 2016.
The Stanislavski Centre and The University of California Riverside
in collaboration with The University of Westminster present
The S Word: Translating the Art/The Art of Translation
Wednesday 13th July, 10.00 to 16.00
@ Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA.
Geraldine Brodie (University College London) is a Lecturer in Translation Theory and Theatre Translation at University College London.
Mark Stevenson (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), actor, director and teacher.
Noah Birksted-Breen (Sputnik Theatre) is Artistic Director of Sputnik the only British theatre company dedicated to staging contemporary Russian plays for British audiences.
Alexa Alfer (University of Westminster) is Senior Lecturer in Translation at the University of Westminster, where she is Course leader for the MA in Specialised Translation, MA Translation and Interpreting, and MRes Translating Cultures.
Anna Shulgat is a theatre scholar and translator, and Research Associate at The Stanislavski Centre.
Morning session: presentations from three guest speakers who each have a different perspective on the task of translation. They will share their experiences and take questions on their work.
Afternoon session: an open forum/debate will address the many issues that face both the translators and those who use their translations: how has the role of translator changed in the digital age? Translator or co-author? How do we maintain the author’s original voice? Should the translator act as a kind of editor/censor when dealing with sensitive material?
Places for this event are limited: £30 (full), £25 (concessions – student, unwaged, retired), which includes tea, coffee and a sandwich lunch.
on-line booking is now available at:
For further details, please contact Prof. Paul Fryer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here’s my (inevitably flawed and holey) summary of the fascinating day dedicated to training in verbatim practices, hosted by Kate Craddock as part of a TaPRA Performer Training interim event at Northumbria. Any confusions are all my own.
First Provocation from Tom Cantrell
Where does imitating end and performing begin? “Imitating is a less noble art than acting” But nevertheless close observation and mimicry is part of the craft of verbatim work and of faction. What terminology do we need to capture this strand of the work? And how do we manage the bias towards emotional, empathic acting (from Stanislavsky). What is our ‘craft terminology’ Cantrell asks?
Second Provocation from Lexi Strauss
Developing a growing discomfort about some of the ethical approaches in verbatim work. So how to use the same techniques in paint and fine art? A life time body of work might be the closest to a definitive self portrait? What’s the problem with recorded delivery verbatim then? Perhaps because the original ‘darkness’ of the material might not translate and might be reinterpreted by an audience. Perhaps because its claim to objectivity is specious. Lexi only interviews people with whom she has ‘a specific connection’. The result is a hybrid of the subject and the interviewer/artist. How would you describe your verbatim practice, Lexi asks, is it closer to the journalistic or the immersive – or something entirely different? Either way it needs to acknowledge its hybridity.
Third Provocation from Richard Gregory
How to show our hands? Questions from the work of Quarantine:
No such thing Buying people a free lunch in exchange for a conversation. (No documentation of any part of the conversation, no evaluation, no public airing). Monthly themes: on hope, on risk, on utopia, on what’s new. The work retains the ‘considered rigour’ of the more formal work of the company but invisibly. Dramaturgy based on Starters, Mains, Afters, Today’s special.
Wallflower: Can you remember all the dances you’ve ever danced? How do you develop the facility to be responsible for the dramaturgy and the whole mise-en-scene? All that is possible is to set ‘a delicate architecture’ and be alert to what the possibilities are. One of the biggest questions about training and preparation is ‘How do we know how we are being seen’ [by an audience]?
Summer, Autumn Winter, Spring: 7 hours, (Part 1 – Summer – 40 people on stage from across the age range, without experience, responding to questions and a projected score). As the questions are unseen how do you rehearse the performers? Feed them, make them familiar with the idea of responding to a structure – training for ‘becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable’ Continue reading
Click here to see the details of the 4th edition of Meyerhold on Theatre, edited by Edward Braun and with a new Introduction by TDPT editor, Jonathan Pitches.
I’d like with my first ever blog entry to offer a challenge to the field of performer training. Let’s face it the current state of secondary drama education is in crisis. Much quoted figures include a drop of 23% in GCSE numbers in Drama from 2003-13, an 8% drop in Drama teachers in schools since 2010 and a 23% drop where an arts subject has been withdrawn. All of us will have anecdotal evidence from our colleagues of falling numbers at A Level and of systematic closures of (very successful) courses. How are we to arrest what many have called an ideological attack on the creative arts through changes to education? How are we to respond to the assessment of the Chair of the Warwick commission’s report on cultural value, that: “not enough is being done to stimulate or realise the creative potential of individuals, or to maximise their cultural and economic value to society. Improvement requires a greater degree of investment, participation, education and digital access’ (2015: 9)?
In this context, my assessment is stark:
Performer training will not survive in any guise of inclusiveness unless it diversifies its infrastructure and fully embraces the rise of digital culture.
Let’s consider this statement by considering the development of Massive Open Online Course, and specifically, one I have recently run on Meyerhold’s Biomechanics.
Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs – short, free-to-access, learning modules, delivered entirely online – are particularly interesting in terms of their organisation of ‘studio’ time. MOOCS are first and foremost ‘an EVENT’ and yet they also endure in perpetuity, contributing to students’ lifelong learning. This interesting mixture of momentary eventness and longitudinal impact is one of a number of temporal idiosyncrasies associated with Massive Open Online learning or what I have called elsewhere digital training . These include
For now, let’s focus on points 3-6.
The eventness of MOOCS is created by the time-limited delivery of the courses – normally anywhere between 2 and 8 weeks, with specific content associated with each week. In some platforms this content is no longer available after the the course has concluded; in others, including the FutureLearn platform I used, the materials are available indefinitely – to review, download, rehash and reuse without restriction. The time-limited delivery of the course, allows for students to have a level of parallel experience, building to the same goals at the end of each week and opening up conversations about the same learning materials in the comment threads alongside materials: