Call for Proposals for TaPRA 2016: Performer Training Working Group

The 12th Annual TaPRA Conference will be co-hosted by University of Bristol, UK from 5th to 7th September 2016 (see: )

The Performer Training Working Group has been meeting for eleven years and has produced several collaborative outputs, including a variety of contributions to the thrice-yearly journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, dedicated to training in all its manifestations, and the associated blog

Konstantinos, Maria and Tom, the working group co-convenors, are delighted to issue a call for contributions for the forthcoming 2016 TaPRA conference on the theme Speech and Text in Performer Training.

We are interested in a range of presentation formats including the following:

  • formal papers (max 20 minutes)
  • provocations or position statements (max 10 minutes)
  • instances of practice as research or short workshops/demonstrations (1 hour)

2016 Theme: Speech and Text in Performer Training

This year’s focus acknowledges the role that text and speech play in performer training. In the context of the rich variety of training practices and research in the working group, ‘text’ is not meant to refer only to words in a printed play-text, but rather to the expansive range of sources in our work. In particular, we would like to consider the link between the different notions of text and speech in this year’s conference. What are the key interventions that are being made in these areas? How do we, from our different and overlapping disciplines, teach, train, and theoretically engage with text and speech in our work?

Within this broad area, there are particular themes which we invite contributions on:

The actor and the text

What are the current developments and new practices in actor training on text? What are the dominant trends in work on verse, and on early-modern texts? How does actor training bridge vocal studies and textual studies, and how does ‘speech’ relate to these two areas? How have training practices evolved within professional theatre companies? What are the emerging practices for textual analysis within actor training? What have been the developments in speech training for radio drama, and voice-over? How do we train actors to work on found texts such as documentary or testimonial sources?

Dance and movement: the physical and verbal body

How do training pedagogies based on dance integrate text? How do performers/trainers work with notions of text as soundscape or score? How does the physical body relate to silence or to the verbal? How do we understand and frame speech and verbalisation as a physical act? Where are the intersections between somatic practices and speech training? To what extent is this distinct from physicalisation in dance? What are the current approaches to physiovocal training?

Text and Aurality

How do we train the sonic and aural aspects of speech? How do we work on text in opera and musical theatre training? How do we see speech and voice as distinct or overlapping? How do we tailor our training towards these different forms? What are the new interventions with regard to speech within vocal studies? How much of this work takes place in formalised training or rehearsal contexts, and how much in the performer’s own, private work? How does language function in relation to text and speech?

Intersections between text, speech, and technology

What are the functions of speech in our work with digital and emergent technologies? What constitutes the ‘text’ and are there additional or alternative understandings of speech and text that technology can offer within a training context? How do we understand speech and the post-human? How might we explore synthesised or mediated speech in performer training?

If you have proposals that do not fit into this list, please do contact the Performer Training Working Group convenors for a conversation:

Tom Cantrell ([email protected])

Maria Kapsali ([email protected])

Konstantinos Thomaidis ([email protected])

 Submitting a Proposal

Please send 250 word (max) proposals/abstracts with brief biography (100 words) and a list of resource needs to all of the three convenors by 18th April 2016 at the latest.  You will hear back from us within 2-3 weeks. We welcome questions and conversations prior to this date if any colleagues need advice and/or clarification on any aspect of the above.

Circulation of paper-based presentations in advance of the conference

Papers are circulated in advance of the conference, so paper contributors should be prepared to have a full paper by early/mid August.

Please note that our group also welcomes participation from colleagues who do not wish to submit papers or other presentations. However, if you do wish to participate in our working group, but are not delivering a paper, please email us your name and details so we can ensure you receive papers in advance.

Joint working group sessions at the TaPRA conference

Please also note that our working group is currently planning to schedule one joint session. More details will be announced on this in due course.

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal (TDPT)

TaPRA Papers may be considered for further development and publication in the Routledge Journal TDPT,

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Konstantinos, Maria and Tom

Only one proposal may be submitted for the TaPRA 2016 Conference at the University of Bristol. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Papers. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the conference; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the conference venue. If your paper has been accepted, yet you have not registered for the Conference by the final registration deadline of 8th August 2016, we will deem you no longer intend to participate and present at TaPRA 2016.