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11 - Acting and Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2021

Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

Chapter 11: This chapter surveys intersections between views of acting and paradigms of science, and addresses views of the human. The chapter begins with a brief historical overview, starting with Plato and Aristotle and proceeding to early twentieth-century scientists such as Pavlov and Freud. The focus is on late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century cognitive sciences and neuroscience, which provide the actor with concrete, material information about how body and brain work. This helps to eliminate misapprehensions about how different aspects of the self operate and offers insight into imagination, intellect, emotion, memory, and language, among other aspects of our experience. The discussion addresses the fact of actors as complex processes, inextricably connected to each other and their environments, and how the actor might utilize the findings of science.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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References

Suggested Reading

Blair, Rhonda. The Actor, Image, and Action: Acting and Cognitive Neuroscience. London, 2008.Google Scholar
Blair, Rhonda, and Cook, Amy, eds. Theatre, Performance, and Cognition: Language, Bodies, and Ecologies. London, 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blair, Rhonda, and Lutterbie, John, eds. Special Section on Cognitive Science, Theatre and Performance. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 26, no. 2 (Fall 2011).Google Scholar
Cook, Amy. Shakespearean Neuroplay: Reinvigorating the Study of Dramatic Texts and Performance through Cognitive Science. London, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cook, Amy. Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting. Ann Arbor, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kemp, Rick. Embodied Acting: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Performance. London, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lutterbie, John. Toward a General Theory of Acting: Cognitive Science and Performance. London, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McConachie, Bruce. Engaging Audiences: A Cognitive Approach to Spectating in the Theatre. London, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McConachie, Bruce, and Hart, F. Elizabeth, eds. Performance and Cognition: Theatre Studies and the Cognitive Turn. London, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murphy, Maiya. Enacting LeCoq: Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life. London, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pitches, Jonathan. Science and the Stanislavsky Tradition of Acting. London, 2006.Google Scholar
Roach, Joseph. The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting. Ann Arbor, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strasberg, Lee. ‘Working with Live Material’. In Stanislavski and America, ed. Munk, Erika. New York, 1967, 183200.Google Scholar
Tribble, Evelyn. Cognition in the Globe: Attention and Memory in Shakespeare’s Theatre. London, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tribble, Evelyn, and Sutton, John. ‘Cognitive Ecology as a Framework for Shakespearean Studies’. Shakespeare Studies 39 (2011): 94103.Google Scholar

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