Items where Subject is "Acting"

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Book

This book addresses some of the challenges met by acting students with dyslexia and highlights the abilities demonstrated by individuals with specific learning differences in actor training. The book offers six tested teaching strategies, created from practical and theoretical research investigations with dyslexic acting students, using the methodologies of case study and action research. Cross-disciplinary methods are introduced when working on Shakespeare’s text, developing inclusive approaches of pedagogy.

The investigations described in the book explore the visual, kinaesthetic and multisensory processing preferences demonstrated by some acting students assessed as dyslexic, specifically when working with complex texts such as Shakespeare. Utilising Shakespeare’s text as a laboratory of practice, and drawing directly from the voices and practical work of the dyslexic students themselves, the book explores:
• the stress caused by dyslexia and how the teacher might ameliorate it through changes in their practice
• the theories and discourse surrounding the label of dyslexia
• acting approaches for engaging with Shakespeare’s language, enabling those with dyslexia to develop their authentic voice and
abilities
• A grounding of the words and the meaning of the text through embodied cognition, spatial awareness and epistemic tools
• Stanislavski’s method of units and actions and how it can benefit and obstruct the student with dyslexia when working on
Shakespeare
• Interpretive Mnemonics as a memory support and hermeneutic process; the use of colour and drawing towards an autonomy in live
performance

This book is a valuable resource for voice and actor training, professional performance, and for those who are curious about emancipatory methods that support difference through humanistic teaching philosophies.

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Book Section

This chapter describes the study the author carried out with two 2nd year acting degree students assessed as dyslexic, and how they gained an autonomy over the processing and performing of Shakespeare’s text. The study aimed to develop inclusive teaching strategies to facilitate the abilities of those with dyslexia and bypass their difficulties with reading. For those with dyslexia the reading and speaking of Shakespeare’s text can present significant challenges. This difficulty undermines practical work and masks the abilities of the dyslexic student actor. Conversely, Shakespeare’s rich language encourages a construction of meaning through visually interpreted modalities. The study demonstrated that the participants created an additional text of drawings, colours and symbols, replacing the alphabetical text, embedding meaning into long-term memory. This chapter shares the experiences of the two students and the author as teacher. These observations offer insights for improving inclusive pedagogical choices, when working with dyslexic acting students.

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Article

A challenge for performers working in interactive and participatory performance forms is a need to navigate between the position of the ‘Architect’, designing and structuring an audience’s experience, and that of the ‘Clown’, sustaining a performance state that is present and responsive to the particularities of individual interactions. While design and structure can preoccupy the development of new work, rehearsing for participatory performance proves a challenge when the pivotal ingredient – an unpredictable audience – is absent. How can training support performers to attend to both performance structure and the immediacies of interactive exchange? How can it support them to think critically about the aesthetics, ethics and politics of both? This article reflects on my pedagogical process of working with a group of undergraduates in spring 2017, exploring training approaches to support their devising process as they created a self-directed interactive theatre piece. It offers an ethnographic glimpse into the studio work and students’ responses, as we investigated approaches to developing the performer as ‘Architect-Clown’. Drawing on 10 years’ experience as a performer-deviser in this field, I sought the tack between these two training zones, applying pedagogic methods that work to develop performance qualities of listening, presence and improvisation, alongside methods aimed at developing a critical and reflexive approach to experience-design. Are the two roles as distinct as is suggested? How might they interact, and what might be gained (or lost) from this cross-training studio approach?

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Abstract
This article discusses the challenges that dyslexic acting degree students can experience when engaging with classical text, offering a pedagogical strategy that facilitates the reading, and acting of Shakespeare. Calling attention to restrictions that dyslexic acting students can experience, the author considers how these difficulties might be overcome. It is re-iterated throughout the literature that those with dyslexia have problems with decoding, word recognition, working-memory and automatisation of skills. Shakespeare’s writing contributes additional challenges with idiosyncrasies of word-use. Describing her action-research trials with dyslexic acting students, the author shares her development of a teaching method, which supports identification of meaning and hierarchy within the text, interlinked with an appropriation of physical practice drawn from Brecht and Stanislavski. The final action-research cycle drew from Kintsch and Rawson’s Text-Base (2005) to enable a comprehension and memory of the text, underpinned by the Lexical Retrieval hypothesis (Krauss et al., 2000). The strategy was trialled in a performance of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis with dyslexic acting students. The participants’ modes of processing the text were encouraged as components of performance. Feedback supported the view that this method is effective in assisting dyslexic individuals in realisation of words, self-efficacy and enriched performance.

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Abstract
In this article, the author reports on her early research into understanding dyslexia, observing its characteristics and affect on some acting students in their work, and discusses ideas for supporting dyslexic acting students in their performance of Shakespeare. Three Acting degree students assessed as dyslexic are presented as case studies in their observed behaviour and the author shares ideas for further action research. The author reports on the students’ strengths and difficulties arising from dyslexia in their reading, understanding and speaking of Shakespeare’s text towards performance. Disclosing challenges the students have met in engaging with the text, and challenges the author faced as their teacher in endeavouring to assist them, the article incudes descriptions of teaching methods that have succeeded or failed in this task.
Having shared the students’ work with six specialist who possess various aspects of expertise involved in dyslexia, the experts comment on the student case studies and their particular challenges. Their expertise is in neurology, dyslexia research, linguistics, speech therapy, the acting of Shakespeare and educational psychology. Several explanations are given in regard to how dyslexia manifests itself in the individuals’ work and processes, and ideas for teaching are offered in supporting acting students with dyslexia. Finally, the author shares her ideas for future investigations and testing specific teaching strategies during her PhD research.

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The presence of students with SpLD (dyslexia) in actor-training institutions is an increasingly common occurrence. This article argues that there is an urgent need to develop inclusive strategies of support in the voice and acting studio that can effectively enable those with dyslexia, while promoting equality of opportunity for realization of potential. Focusing on the author’s research concerning the facilitation of acting students with dyslexia in the areas of reading, speaking and acting of Shakespeare, this article begins by highlighting specific difficulties presented by dyslexia. It goes on to describe a case-study of two acting students with dyslexia and their visually led methods employed in entering Shakespeare’s text. The second workshop section offers a pedagogical strategy for the inclusive voice class when working on Shakespeare, while the third section dedicated to participant three demonstrates how a dyslexic acting student uses a visually led approach in enhancing her articulation of speech and extrapolation of meaning in the text. Underpinning the investigations with analysis and theory, the author concludes by sharing her research findings, seeking to stimulate further discussion within the community of voice and actor- training.

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This article shares the author’s research focusing on the facilitation of acting students with dyslexia in actor training. For some individuals with dyslexia the translation of the written text into image-based symbols using technological modalities can play a crucial role to access and make concrete the meaning of the words; in this case Shakespeare. Describing the author’s exploratory construction of a computer tool to assist students with dyslexia to read Shakespeare’s words, the article progresses to focus on one individual with dyslexia, whose illustrative PowerPoint compositions representing Shakespeare’s words, afforded her an autonomy over the text, whilst supporting working memory weaknesses.

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