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Actors as Signposts: a Model for Site-based and Ambulatory Performances

  • Phil Smith


In this paper Phil Smith examines the proposal of Simon Persighetti of Wrights & Sites for actors to behave ‘as signposts’. It describes the circumstances from which the proposal arose, a particular moment in the work of site-specific artists/performers Wrights & Sites, and argues for the wider application of the proposal to the making of site-based theatre and performance. The paper describes four main features of the proposal for ‘actors as signposts’ – pointing to specificity, movement from anti-character to collective subject, performance as trajectory, and the restoration of corporeality – illustrating these with reference to the work of Punchdrunk, Francis Alÿs, and geographer Michael Zinganel, among others. Phil Smith is a Senior Research Associate at the School of Art and Media, University of Plymouth and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Exeter and Dartington College of Arts. Author and co-deviser of over a hundred plays or performances for companies including St Petersburg State Comedy Theatre, Tams Theater (Munich), and New Perspectives (Nottingham), he is company dramaturg for TNT (Munich) and a core member of Wrights & Sites. His solo walking-based performances include The Crab Walks and Crab Steps Aside (texts published by Intellect, 2009).


Actors as Signposts: a Model for Site-based and Ambulatory Performances

  • Phil Smith


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