ACTING & BEING: Explorations in Embodied Performance

TitleACTING & BEING: Explorations in Embodied Performance
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2016
EditionFirst Edition
Number of Pages239
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBNISBN 978-1-349-95729-3
E. Hess
Acting and Being: Explorations in Embodied Performance
•• Offers a unique, practice-led insight into the exploration of self through performance
•• Takes an innovative, hybrid approach to the analysis of performance, culled from Western & Eastern practices
•• Proposes a physical and philosophical manifesto for the exploration of identity in performance
In this book, educator-actor-playwright-director Elizabeth Hess offers systematic and original
explorations in performance technique. This hybrid approach is a fusion of physical theater modalities culled from Western practices (Psycho-physical actions, Viewpoints) Eastern practices (Butoh, Kundalini yoga) and related performance disciplines (Mask, Puppetry).
Behavioral, physiological and psychological ‘states of being’ are engaged to unlock impulses, access experience and enlarge the imagination. Through individual, partnered and collective explorations, actors uncover a character’s essence and level of consciousness, their energy center and body language, and their archetype and relationship to universal themes. Magic (to pretend, as if), Metaphor (to compare, as like) and Myth (to pattern after, as in) provide the foundation for generating transformative, empathetic and expansive artistic expression.
Explorations can be adapted to character work, scene study and production, including original/devised work and established text, to illuminate singular and surprising work through collaborative creativity that is inventive, inclusive and alive.
“Elizabeth’s process as both artist and teacher has evolved into a unique practice that reflects her
physical aliveness, emotional openness and inquiring mind. She integrates existing physical theater modalities into a hybrid approach that also lends itself to multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration.” (Helen Cook, Director Emerita, New York University, USA, Tisch School of the Arts, Playwrights Horizons Theater School)
“Acting & Being is what every actor needs to navigate the unknown and “play dangerously”. It offers a clear and comprehensive guide for unlocking barriers and unleashing creative potential. Her genius lies in helping actors connect to the power of language and their physical instruments. This book will also help emerging actors find that power and tap into other ‘states of being’ that they didn’t think were possible.” (Jeff Janisheski, Head of Acting, National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia)