ADSA 2018: Actors and Acting in the Twenty-First Century

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 to Fri, 29 Jun 2018

  • Event Details
  • Type of event: Annual Conference
    Venue: Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne

    This conference reflects on the multiple challenges faced by today’s actors, celebrates their innovations, approaches and collaborations and considers how their working processes resist theorisation. Actors are required to work in ever diversifying arenas of theatre, performance, gaming, film and television. For today’s actor versatility and openness to working with different processes in a variety of creative environments are crucial assets. Acting programs are also at the centre of global demand for greater intercultural exchange, rapid advances in technology and hybridised projects which all offer new opportunities and pose exciting challenges for actors also challenge academics to reframe their thinking. The received idea of how an actor’s body might look, how an actor might sound, or how an actor might use their imagination in a given culture has been under question in recent times. Which actors are currently active in resisting stereotype and stigma? How does an actor innovate given the increasing variety of training approaches and methods?

    Technological advances move swiftly and CGI has both created new audiences and made new demands on actors’ vocal and physical skills. How do individual actors negotiate those demands? How have practices and training altered? Where does the thinking of figures such as Stanislavsky and Brecht sit in relation to new developments, or should they be abandoned? What are the important innovations in actors’ creation of roles? Does star studies, predominant in film, have more potential in theories of stage performance?

    Questions for papers might stem from but not be limited to the following areas:

    • Actors innovations in role construction
    • Acting and the refusal of character
    • Actors and the reluctance to describe process
    • Agency and the actor
    • Actors and collaborations with other actors/directors/designers/writers
    • Acting and taboo
    • The actor and challenging discrimination
    • The creative industries and the problem of equality
    • Actors and typecasting
    • The actor of musical theatre/the actor and musician
    • Participatory theatre and new challenges for actors
    • The actor as director/writer/scenographer
    • Multicultural acting projects and their innovations
    • Diversity in actor training and theatre studies programs
    • Innovations in comic performance
    • Acting in hybrid forms of theatre and performance
    • New naturalisms and the actor
    • Indigenous actors and innovation
    • Queer performance and innovation
    • CGI, motion capture and acting for the future
    • Theories of presence and the star actor
    • The actor and the negotiation of celebrity
    • The cultural value of the specific actor
    • Voice over and the actor
    • Acting and disability
    • Reframing actor training practice and theory
    • The actor and the ethics of acting a role
    Contact: Dr Matt Delbridge,