Call for Papers – THEATRALIA 2023/2: To be an Actor – Teaching to Be an Actor

31 Aug 2022

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Theatralia: Journal of Theatre Studies, 2023/2

Issue editors: Martina Musilová (Masaryk University, Czechia) & Jan Šotkovský (Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Czechia)

More than a hundred years ago, Konstantin Stanislavski began experiments leading to the creation of the first comprehensive system of acting training and pedagogy. Since that time, pedagogical approaches to acting have been developing extensively. At the beginning of the 21st century, it is no longer possible to talk about a single dominant approach. Various approaches of individual personalities to teaching acting are intertwined, enriched, and are further developed according to individual orientations by the generations of followers. Concepts of acting education have been changed, transformed, rejected, and rediscovered. And since acting is inherently ephemeral, lacking material traces, it is sometimes difficult to relate the texts of the classics of acting pedagogy to the specific ideas of theatre and acting which their students adhered to. Thus, different concepts can be differently misinterpreted and reinterpreted. Contemporary acting education and its theoretical reflection face all these challenges nowadays.

Theatrical art is art associated with the present moment, and even more so with acting at its core. It cannot exist without direct contact with the spectator. It is an ‘assist in mind of the actor's ability’, as director Jiří Frejka wrote in his study ‘Theatre Springs from Convention and Yet Fights Against It’ (1929). Yet, we live in a world that is changing radically, almost every decade. Digital technologies have become common not only at the theatrical stage, but also in acting pedagogy and intergenerational relationships of students and teachers of acting.

Teaching acting presupposes a concrete idea of what an acting technique is, what acting craft is, and for what purpose the means of expression taught should be used. However, is it possible to teach a kind of universal or at least universally applicable acting in light of the variety of expressive possibilities of contemporary theatre? Is there a generally shared, teachable notion of acting professionalism? And what do we expect from the actor in particular? Technical and professional readiness? Ability to develop creative potential?

We decided to focus this issue of Theatralia peer-reviewed journal on acting, actresses and actors, who are the elemental phenomenon of theatre, as well as the first and last condition of a theatrical event.

We invite contributions in the form of essays for Yorick, the peer-reviewed section of the journal (4,000–7,000 words), on the following suggested topics:

Actor pedagogy and education

  • Approach to and concept of actor pedagogy
  • Traditional, practice-based acting pedagogy and possibilities of its systematisation or theorising; danger of reduction of complex discipline
  • Relation between actor pedagogy and actor practice
  • Outstanding personalities in actor pedagogy

Acting – forms and concepts of acting in the 20th and 21st centuries

  • Contemporary forms of acting and related issues: drama, alternative, experimental, music, opera, physical theatre, improvisation; pantomime; actor-specific phenomenon; postmodern acting; an acting style of intertextual incorporation, and verbatim theatre practice
  • Between character acting and performing
  • Greatest actors
  • Actor’s individuality, ensemble and collective creation, the decline of ensemble acting
  • Actor between theatre, film, TV, streaming services, audiobooks
  • Star studies and shaping of a media persona

Konstantin Stanislavski and his system

  • Stanislavski system and its reception and cultural transmission outside the USSR
  • Stanislavski reception in Czech theatre in the 20th and 21st centuries – actors, acting educationalists, directors
  • Historicizing vs. actualizing perspective
  • Continuity and actualization in acting and acting pedagogy, generational changes

Acting as cultural and social phenomenon – border and cross-border phenomena in acting

  • Acting within the Humanities – anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, psychology, neuroscience

Proposals submission deadline: 31 October 2022

Manuscript submission deadline for peer-reviewed sections (Yorick, Spectrum): 20 December 2022

Manuscript submission deadline for non-reviewed sections (Reviews, Events): 31 March 2023

Issue publication: October 2023

All issue-related enquiries as well as submissions should be sent to the issue editors:

General guidelines for submission, formal requirements and citation style are available at the section for authors on the Theatralia website.

Theatralia is a peer reviewed journal of theatre and performance history and theory, issued by Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, and indexed in SCOPUS, EBSCO and ERIH Plus and listed in the Ulrich’s web Global Serials Directory.


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