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

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 to Fri, 29 Jun 2018

Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
June 26-29 2018

Conference Convenors Matt Delbridge and Mary Luckhurst

This conference reflects on the multiple challenges experienced by actors past, present

and future in context of current innovations, collaboration and forms of training across a wide variety of performances, professional workplaces and environmental conditions. Actors are required to work in ever diversifying media arenas including theatre, performance, gaming, radio, film and television, and across a broad range of cultural, professional and industrial communities. Consequently, acting programs are shifting to respond to the industries and professions they serve, whilst also attempting to address a global demand for greater intercultural exchange, renewal of canonical training methods and dramatic material, shifting politics of representations, tightening of financial resources, and championing space for practice-led learning and research within the academy. In addition, rapid advances in technology and hybrid projects offer new opportunities and pose exciting demands on actors and cause academics and actor educators to reframe their pedagogical approaches to training. Challenges to received ideas of how a performer’s body might look, how an actor might sound, or what an actor might, or might not, represent continue to fuel urgent cultural and scholarly debate. Indeed, the borrowing of the terms ‘actor’ and ‘acting’ by a wide variety of disciplines (after the performative turn) might give acting studies pause for thought.

We therefore invite papers, panels and workshops that address the actor and acting in the following formats: individual papers (20 minutes duration), practical/skills workshop sessions (45 or 90 minutes duration) and panel presentations (60 minutes duration).

Questions and discussions might stem from, but not be limited to, the following areas:

Actor systems, training, and methods

Actors, audience and participation

Acting and drama (character and text)

Acting, indigeneity, race and ethnicity

Acting historiographies

Classical and Contemporary acting

The Actor’s body

Acting and science

Acting, industry and celebrity

The Actor in music theatre

The Actor, scenography and costume

The Actor, the screen, the camera (including CGI and motion capture) 

The Actor and performance space

The Actor as director/writer/scenographer

Acting and discourses (LGBTIQ+, gender, queer, comic, disability, feminism, ageing, ethics, etc)

Acting and therapy

The Actor and Voice

We look forward to welcoming you to the Victorian College of the Arts, located at the Southbank campus of the University of Melbourne in 2018.


Conference Facebook group:

Earlybird registrations close 23 May and all other registrations close 23 June.

For more information please contact convenors directly at: