1st Edition

Acting, Archetype, and Neuroscience Superscenes for Rehearsal and Performance

By Jane Drake Brody Copyright 2017
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

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    "How do we move actors into the less accessible regions of themselves and release hotter, more dangerous, and less literal means of approaching a role?"

    Superscenes are a revolutionary new mode of teaching and rehearsal, allowing the actor to discover and utilize the primal energies underlying dramatic texts. In Acting, Archetype, and Neuroscience Jane Drake Brody draws upon a lifetime’s experience in the theatre, alongside the best insights into pedagogical practice in the field, the work of philosophers and writers who have focused on myth and archetype, and the latest insights of neuroscience.

    The resulting interdisciplinary, exciting volume works to:

    • Mine the essentials of accepted acting theory while finding ways to access more primally-based human behavior in actors
    • Restore a focus on storytelling that has been lost in the rush to create complex characters with arresting physical and vocal lives
    • Uncover the mythical bones buried within every piece of dramatic writing; the skeletal framework upon which hangs the language and drama of the play itself
    • Focus on the actor’s body as the only place where the conflict inherent in drama can be animated.

    Acting, Archetype, and Neuroscience weaves together a wealth of seemingly disparate performance methods, exciting actors to imaginatively and playfully take risks they might otherwise avoid. A radical new mixture of theory and practice by a highly respected teacher of acting, this volume is a must-read for students and performance practitioners alike.



    Section One: Origins

    Chapter 1: Returning to Mythic Roots

    Physical Beginnings of Acting

    Current Actor Training

    Current Training

    Hymn: To Vulcan (Hephaistos), Fumigation from Frankincense and Manna

    Chapter 2: Resurrecting Mythic Stories

    Linking Neuroscience and Archetypal Mythology

    Chapter 3: Primary Conflict and the Hero’s Journey

    Primary Conflict: Order Versus Chaos

    Peter and Wendy

    Section Two: The Exercises and the Work

    Chapter 4: The Exercises



    Push, Pull, Hold, Release



    Second Viewpoints Class: Contact and Company

    Day Three: Company, Architecture, and Music

    Chapter 5: Beginning Superscenes

    Text and Archetypes

    Fourth Session: Exercise: Using the Monomyth

    A Linear Representation of the Hero’s Journey

    Inciting Incident: Exact Scene? Exact Line? Exact Rationale?

    Chapter 6: Two Hero’s Journeys

    The Hero’s Journey of Muhammad Ali

    Hamlet’s Journey: A Brief and Debatable Look at Hamlet as Hero

    Chapter 7: Bridging and Superscenes



    Superscenes and Memory

    Section Three: Neuroscience and Images

    Chapter 8: Mirror Neurons, Emotions, Memory, Meditation, Embodiment, and Images

    The Limbic System

    The Eternally Balancing Body


    Phenomenology: The Study of the Experience of Intention

    Mirror Neurons

    Second Person Interactivity: MNs

    The Use of Metaphor, Image, and Active Words

    Memory: Images and the Brain

    Memory, Archetype, and Mirror Neurons

    Memory Consolidation

    Chapter 9: Archetypal Patterns

    Family Stories

    CG Jung

    Archetypal Patterns of Plots

    Chapter 10: Archetypal Journey; In The Blood by Susan Lori Parks

    The Ancient Story, Myth and Archetype

    Protagonist/Antagonist Statement

    Hester’s Hero’s Journey

    Chapter 11: Conclusion




    Jane Drake Brody teaches graduate and undergraduate Acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University, following a long career as an actress, director, professional acting coach and casting director. Her many film and TV casting credits include the Oscar winning Fargo, for which she received the Casting Society of America's Best Location Casting Award.