About Phillip Zarrilli

While on a Fulbright Fellowship to Kerala, India in 1976-77, Zarrilli immersed himself in learning the preparatory body-exercises of the kathakali dance-drama actor/dancer that had so inspired Grotowski. He has had a long and varied career as an academic, theatre practitioner, and author. In 2013 Zarrilli was designated Emeritus Professor of Performance Practice at Exeter University. He continues to be active in higher education and regularly gives key-note addresses based on his research, practice, and writing. Between 2010 and 2016 he was a Research Fellow at the International Research Centre, Interweaving Performance Cultures, at Freie Universitat (Berlin).

Phillip Zarrilli: Pre-Performative Psychophysical Training of the Actor/Performer

Inspired by Jerzy Grotowski but seeking his own pathway as a young theatre director working in Minneapolis, over forty years ago Phillip Zarrilli began a life-long project of exploring an alternative approach to the pre-performative training and preparation of the actor/performer using the techniques and underlying principles of Asian martial arts (taiqiquan/kalarippayattu) and yoga which would move actor training beyond Stanislavsky.

Over the years, Zarrilli developed a rigorous, in-depth, immersive process of training and preparing the actor’s bodymind for performance through the in-depth use of these traditional exercises—applied specifically to acting/performance problems. Continue reading