1st Edition

Actor Training in Anglophone Countries Past, Present and Future

By Peter Zazzali Copyright 2021
    252 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Actor Training in Anglophone Countries offers a firsthand account of the most significant acting programs in English-speaking countries throughout the world. The culmination of archival research and fieldwork spanning six years, it is the only work of its kind that studies the history of actor training from an international perspective. It presents the current moment as crucial for student actors and those who teach them. As the profession continues to change, new and progressive approaches to training have become as urgent as they are necessary.

    Using drama schools and universities as its subjects of inquiry, this book investigates acting programs in the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Among the case studies are the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, National Theatre School of Canada, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and Carnegie Mellon University. All recognized for their distinguished reputations by industry professionals and acting teachers alike, the book examines each program’s pedagogical approach, administrative structure, funding apparatus, and alumni success. In doing so, it identifies the challenges facing acting schools today and offers a new direction for training in the twenty-first century.

    Actor Training in Anglophone Countries will be of interest to theatre and performance scholars, artists, students, and teachers.

    List of Figures, Foreword (By Baron Kelly), Preface, Acknowledgements, Chapter 1 The State of Actor Training Today: An Introduction , Chapter 2 The Paternal Model: Training in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Chapter 3 The Commodified Model: Training in the US and Canada, Chapter 4 The Postcolonial Model: Training in Australia and New Zealand, Chapter 5 Back to the Future: Towards a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Model, Bibliography, Appendix


    Peter Zazzali is Senior Lecturer in Acting and Director of the BA (Hons) Acting Program at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore.

    ''This admirably wide-ranging and thorough excavation of the international landscape of contemporary Anglophone performer training and the entangled processes of its historical development will be of great value both to scholars of theatre practices and teachers and students of acting. Perhaps more importantly, however, Zazzali’s development of a detailed critique of the paternalism, Eurocentrism, and coloniality of the field offers a timely and carefully argued rationale for widespread change. I urge readers to use the examples of resistant practices gathered here as tools to that end.'' Tom Cornford, Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

    ''Peter Zazzali’s comprehensive investigation expertly unpicks the rifts and fissures underlying contemporary actor-training across the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. For anyone seeking to understand how it came into its present, and looking for inspiration and ideas to inform its future, this book will be the indispensable guide for some time to come. Its sensitive combination of investigation, analysis, critique and advocacy will give administrators and trainers alike the conceptual tools needed to pull actor-training through its current crisis, while reinforcing the commonalities across a field that so many care passionately about.'' Mark Radvan, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of CI, Education & Social Justice, School of Creative Practice, Drama, QUT