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Title: Studying acting : an investigation into contemporary approaches to professional actor training in the UK
Author: Rawlins, Trevor
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is driven by two central concerns about contemporary actor training in the UK, namely the merger of the conservatoire approach with that of the university drama department, and the increasing dominance of screen-based media (particularly television) in the working life of the professional actor. The key tensions examined in the thesis relate to the issues created by wider cultural shifts, on the one hand in the entertainment industry, and on the other within Higher Education. The thesis argues that the conservatoire approach to actor training is based on a largely oral tradition, creating material differences between it and the more evidence-based, and largely written, university approach to drama. The thesis argues that this distinction has not been fully acknowledged, and the differences between the two approaches need to be considered, alongside wider cultural shifts, in planning the future of professional actor training in the UK. Chapter 1 sets out some significant methodological challenges, and indicates how the thesis uses them to conceptualise the practical processes of acting and actor training. The chapter concludes by proposing that a new discipline, "Acting Studies", is needed to fully integrate the conservatoire point of view within academic discourse. Chapter 2 employs case studies of Theatre WorkshoplEast 15 Acting School and the Group Theatre/Actors Studio to examine training methodologies in the UK and the USA, and Chapter 3 employs archival research (some of the first research work to make use of the ACGB Archive) to assess how the industrial landscape of the professional actor in the UK has changed over the last 40 years. Chapter 4 interrogates what actor/practitioners mean by the term "truth", and Chapter 5 proposes ways of analysing screen acting from the point of view of the proposed discipline of Acting Studies. The thesis concludes with some proposals on the way Acting Studies could combine the approaches of the university and the conservatoire, in new and fruitful ways.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available