Physical and Vocal Training for Actors - DR891

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
7 45 (22.5) DR R Mitchell







This module directs students to investigate and develop physical and vocal actor training techniques. It is designed to complement the other modules on the Physical Acting Specialism by providing synergies between training and performance applications, with the objective of linking process with product. Autumn term focuses on individual training techniques and the development of autonomous processes for actors. Spring term will focus on ensemble training by exploring partner and group-based processes.
In both terms, students will work practically in tutor-led workshops and independently. In addition to their theatre-based work, students will be expected to practise and document other forms of training practices (e.g. dance classes, martial arts, sports), and incorporate this work in their end of term assessments.
Students will demonstrate their learning towards the end of each term by a Solo Technical Presentation in autumn and an Ensemble Technical Presentation in spring. These presentations will take the form of lecture-demonstrations on the subject of the training processes that influenced their DR895 Solo Performance (autumn) and DR892 Ensemble Performance (spring).
Three Contextual Seminars will be held per term with a focus on the theory, ethics, and history of actor training.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 84
Private Study Hours: 366
Total Study Hours: 450

Method of assessment

• Solo Technical Presentation (10 minutes) – 40%
• Ensemble Technical Presentation (30 minutes) – 40%
• Contribution to Workshop – 20%

Indicative reading

Barba, Eugenio, and Nicola Savarese, eds., A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer, second edition, London: Routledge 2006
Evans, Mark, Movement Training and the Modern Actor, London: Routledge 2009
Grotowski, Jerzy, Towards a Poor Theatre, London: Routledge 2002
Hodge, Alison, ed., Actor Training, second edition, London & New York: Routledge 2010
Lecoq, Jacques, The Theatre of Movement and Gesture, London: Routledge 2006
Murray, Simon, and John Keefe, eds. Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction, London: Routledge 2007

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate essential practical skills and processes of physical and laboratory theatre training within a pre-professional context;
- Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the various contexts (historical, ethical, and terminological) that influence and inform physical and laboratory theatre training;
- Demonstrate the ability to develop, individually and within a group, physical training processes, with particular emphasis on body flexibility and vocal range, as well as project management;
- Demonstrate conceptual understanding of the symbiotic relationship between practice and terminology, with particular emphasis on the practice-based conceptualisation of movement, space, rhythm, texture, range, and relationship with observers;
- Demonstrate complete understanding of the essential links between laboratory training and its application in acting and performance composition;
- Demonstrate the ability to document the creative processes and artistic work in effective formats;
- Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of current discourses of and around theatre training and the contextualisation of their own work within these contexts.

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