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Title: The body politics of acting in the context of training and the performance industry : perspectives from contemporary Britain
Author: Mitchell, Roanna
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores how the actor experiences, understands and employs their personal-professional body in relation to the commercial performance industry, the structure and environment of actor training, and the sociocultural as well as politico-economic perception of the body in contemporary Britain. It focuses on the questions of how the actor conceptualizes the body in training and profession, the degree of agency they have over their embodied identity in these fields, and how actors negotiate the experience of their body within capitalist frameworks based on value, supply and demand. The fieldwork underpinning this project involves observations and interviews at five of the UK's major drama schools, with actors working professionally in Britain, and with a selection of industry stakeholders. Drawing on cognitive and social sciences, this discussion illustrates how attitudes and languages referring to the actor's body are translated into embodied conceptualizations, which shape the actor's body and identity in training and professional practice. In particular it focuses on the dynamics of power, ownership, responsibility and representation that emerge in the space within the actor's body where art, business and self are confronted with one another. The framework of the actor's physical capital is developed as a lens through which to highlight the consequences which the actor's lived experience of these dynamics has, both on the actors themselves and on the landscape of the contemporary performance industry. This research thus interrogates aspects of the acting profession which are rarely considered in discussions of the actor's craft, but which fundamentally shape their own, and their stakeholders', role within the body politics of acting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available