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Acting and Movement Training as a Pedagogy of the Body

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Abstract

American playwright Arthur Miller observed that acting, which he defines as assuming “the character of someone else,” is inevitable as soon as we walk out our front doors and into society (2001, 33). Any view of acting holding that each of us acts every day raises questions about the actor’s art, the nature of training, and the form any such training ought to take. The ways American institutions have chosen to train actors have varied, but they almost always involve conceiving of the actor as an instrument (in body and voice) that can be adjusted, refined, improved, and tuned. Hundreds of books have been written to aid in the process, and extensive curricula have been arranged to provide the requisite instruction. How is the body conceptualized in actor training? We are concerned especially with how the actor’s body, through voice and movement training, is treated.

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