Artistic Directors are being called upon to include greater representation of gender expression, race and sexual orientation in their company of actors. As such, contemporary theatre continues to move away from the dramaturgical realism that had been so popular in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
This in turn affects the pedagogy of actor training, as well as contemporary rehearsal practice. We have noted a desire from actors to move away from the pedagogy that accompanied ‘the old school’ (namely the actor training model put forward by Constantine Stanislavsky and later by his American followers Hagen, Adler, Strasberg and Meisner). As actors yearn for new approaches, I too question whether these methods, once revolutionary and now often regarded as conservative, still hold relevance to the actors of 2021 and beyond.
As both theatre practice and actor training pedagogy face this call to evolve, this research has never been more necessary. We are actively contributing across the affected areas and are experiencing the challenges the ‘process’ faces. Our continuing research will benefit practitioners, actors and directors working both pedagogically and within the performing arts industry and seeks to uncover a contemporary ‘process’ that empowers the 21st century actor.
This research is ongoing and developed in conjunction with Deakin University, Melbourne.