Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Trained, educated or ‘constructed’ for industry?

Prior, R. W., Seton, M. C. and Petherbridge, D. (2012) Trained, educated or ‘constructed’ for industry? Panel Presentation presented to: PSi#18, University of Leeds, 27 June – 01 July 2012. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Panel Presentation)
Abstract: Actor preparation has a long history of dancing the divide between training and education. Preparing to be an actor undoubtedly involves training the voice and body, and educating the mind. It would be a mistake to automatically assume anyone can do it although in rare cases they can. In part its art and craft is making the technique invisible which of course engenders a sense of effortlessness by a watching audience; giving rise to a false notion that acting is easier than it seems. A juggler, musician, mime artist and magician all face the same when it comes to hiding their technique or their training behind the art or what the audience sees or hears. However training alone will not provide all the answers. In 1975 under the heading ‘The Problem Areas’ in Going on Stage – A Report to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on professional training for drama, the report identified the perceived divide between education and training. The report points out that: ‘although a course of study or training is essentially vocational does not automatically place that course in the training rather than the educational field’ (p.58). In part what the report reminds us is that to be an actor one must be trained as well as educated and the polemic divide might well be erroneous. This sort of education though is not necessarily academic – it might simply be through life experience. Embodied practices in actor training are both a product of training and education. To say that actors should only be trained is illogical. Training is an approach, a discipline, and belief. It offers actors a ‘way in’ and a framework which is known to them. Training offers a systematic way of hiding the actor’s technique so we do not see the acting. This paper advances the notion that actor training is rooted in both vocational training and education models. Whilst investigating this perceived polemic divide, the paper explores the topical concern over whether vocational actor training can be usefully sustained within a university context where traditional emphasis is placed upon education
Uncontrolled Keywords: training and education, actor training, theatre, drama training
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater > PN2041 Performance studies
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater > PN2061 Art of acting
Creators: Prior, Ross W, Seton, Mark C and Petherbridge, David
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Journalism, Media & Performance
Date: 30 June 2012
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: PSi#18
Event Dates: 27 June – 01 July 2012
Event Location: University of Leeds
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished
Refereed: No
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