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Acting and Being

Explorations in Embodied Performance

  • Elizabeth Hess

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Elizabeth Hess
    Pages 1-11
  3. States of Being

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-14
    2. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 15-31
    3. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 33-50
    4. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 51-67
  4. Explorations in Embodied Performance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 69-74
    2. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 75-110
    3. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 111-153
    4. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 155-182
  5. The Interplay of Acting & Being

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 183-186
    2. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 187-194
    3. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 195-207
    4. Elizabeth Hess
      Pages 209-224
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 225-239

About this book

Introduction

‘Elizabeth’s process as both artist and teacher has evolved into a unique practice that reflects her physical aliveness, emotional openness and inquiring mind. She integrates existing physical theater modalities into a hybrid approach that also lends itself to multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration.’ - Helen Cook, Director Emerita, New York University, USA, Tisch School of the Arts, Playwrights Horizons Theater School

Acting & Being is what every actor needs to navigate the unknown and “play dangerously”. It offers a clear and comprehensive guide for unlocking barriers and unleashing creative potential. Her genius lies in helping actors connect to the power of language and their physical instruments. This book will also help emerging actors find that power and tap into other ‘states of being’ that they didn’t think were possible.’ - Jeff Janisheski, Head of Acting, National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia

‘Elizabeth Hess’ approach invites the actor through real play to awaken and invigorate the physical life of characters. I have seen her work provide the platform for fearless performances full of grace and discovery.’ - Rachel Jett, Artistic Director, National Theater Institute, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, USA

In this book, educator-actor-playwright-director Elizabeth Hess offers systematic and original explorations in performance technique. This hybrid approach is a fusion of physical theater modalities culled from Western practices (Psycho-physical actions, Viewpoints) Eastern practices (Butoh, Kundalini yoga) and related performance disciplines (Mask, Puppetry). Behavioral, physiological and psychological ‘states of being’ are engaged to unlock impulses, access experience and enlarge the imagination. Through individual, partnered and collective explorations, actors uncover a character’s essence and level of consciousness, their energy center and body language, and their archetype and relationship to universal themes. Magic (to pretend, as if), Metaphor (to compare, as like) and Myth (to pattern after, as in) provide the foundation for generating transformative, empathetic and expansive artistic expression. Explorations can be adapted to character work, scene study and production, including original/devised work and established text, to illuminate singular and surprising work through collaborative creativity that is inventive, inclusive and alive.

Keywords

contemporary performance embodied performance performance technique artistic expression multi-media experimentation physical theatre collaborative performance self-expression performance technique

Authors and affiliations

  • Elizabeth Hess
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent scholarNew YorkUSA

Bibliographic information