Towards an Intracultural Actor Training: Utilising the Cultural Context of the Performer

MPhil Thesis

Landon-Smith, Kristine 2016. Towards an Intracultural Actor Training: Utilising the Cultural Context of the Performer. MPhil Thesis University of East London Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsLandon-Smith, Kristine
TypeMPhil Thesis

This thesis offers an evolved methodology of practice that acknowledges and utilises
difference in performance, and offers a potential way forward for theatre practice. This
methodology is addressed primarily to directors and teachers in both training and professional
theatre environments, and therefore offers specific guidance on rehearsal room practice. In
2016, state funded theatres in the United Kingdom and Australia (the territories in which I
locate this thesis) are still largely monocultural, both in terms of the people on stage and the
people watching the work created. While there are theatres that serve varied communities and
engage with international and intracultural arts, there is still an imbalance whereby cultural
representations reflecting society’s diversity are not seen on a consistent basis. The pace of
change remains slow. Why is it that theatre has not yet moved beyond a homogenous world
view to presenting a world that more accurately reflects society’s heterogeneity?
I have developed a methodology for directors, teachers and actors that seeks to speak
back to these discriminatory practices by opposing the idea of ‘neutral’; in which actors’
differences are stripped away and “the assumption of a shared universality” (Bharucha, 2000:
35) is favoured. After all, the category of ‘neutral’ more often than not overlaps with the
identity of the cultural authority, and so is not in fact politically neutral.
The methodology described in this thesis offers a pathway to step beyond notions of
identity as “fixed” and instead engage with identity as something that is fluid and ever
changing. For individuality to flourish, teachers and directors need to develop an
understanding of how to embrace and play with difference on the rehearsal room floor and
move their focus away from a “one approach fits all” mentality. The methodology outlined in
this thesis offers teachers and directors the skills and freedom to work courageously with
multifarious personalities and diverse historical narratives as a rich resource in the realisation
of work for performance.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintOct 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Jan 2017
Publisher's version
Permalink -

Download files

  • 240
    total views
  • 432
    total downloads
  • 7
    views this month
  • 3
    downloads this month

Export as