Awakening the Actor’s Emotional Expressivity: A Psychophysical Approach

Evangelatou, Aphrodite. 2019. Awakening the Actor’s Emotional Expressivity: A Psychophysical Approach. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines the nature of performed emotion from the perspective of the actor trainer. The research begins from a simple yet significant question: how can the trainer encourage the student-actor’s inner awakening? It proceeds to explore potential entry points to emotion and discusses key parameters that relate to its activation, such as the relational nature of acted emotion and the pleasure derived from experiencing it.

At the centre of this research lies actor training. However, current scientific discoveries have also been considered to further understand the nature of emotion on stage and in life. The approach is psychophysical, using the actor’s body as a point of entry, inviting the inner through the outer, and in so doing, challenging the outdated perception of body and psyche as two discrete entities.

The theatre practitioners that have informed the vocabulary, the exercises, and the way of thinking for this practice-based research are: Konstantin Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Jerzy Grotowski, Gardzienice, Song of the Goat, Odin Teatret, Tadashi Suzuki, and Theodoros Terzopoulos. Alba Emoting, a technique specifically developed to induce emotions has also been addressed. Specific aspects of the aforementioned techniques have been chosen and further explored in acting classes where emotion is placed at the core of the training. This has resulted in a pedagogical approach that seeks to awaken the actor’s inner life, as well as encouraging them to access high levels of energy, concentration, and presence.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Actor training, emotion, psychophysical, acting

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


28 February 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Apr 2019 15:35

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:14


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