1st Edition

Bourdieu in the Studio Decolonising and Decentering Actor Training Through Ludic Activism

By Evi Stamatiou Copyright 2024
    254 Pages 49 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers tools to address the growing and urgent interest in exposing and challenging unconscious biases in the studio, exploiting how actor training uniquely combines elements of education and culture. It is the first practical and rigorous investigation of Pierre Bourdieu’s idea that domination and inequality are embodied in surreptitious ways.

    This book adapts and develops the techniques of Joan Littlewood and Ariane Mnouchkine that juxtapose the social with the comedic to theatricalise Bourdieusian concepts, inviting critical consciousness and critical praxis in the studio. It constructs the creative intervention Ludic Activism that can be practically applied in an actor training context. Actors from diverse training backgrounds were trained to use Ludic Activism, co-investigating how the Bourdieu-inspired vocabulary and pedagogy can facilitate the acknowledgement and tackling of dispositions during theatre-making. Ludic Activism developed the participants’ social representations into progressive and compassionate versions, reinforcing an understanding and use of their positionality in performance through a set of authorial acting tasks.

    This book is an advanced study for actors, directors, and teachers of acting for both the training/rehearsal studio and research.

    The methodology, account of the process, and evaluation of the creative intervention – including illustrations and selected videos that can be accessed on the Routledge website, under the Support Material section, here: https://www.routledge.com/Bourdieu-in-the-Studio-Decolonising-and-Decentering-Actor-Training-Through/Stamatiou/p/book/9781032306070 – demonstrate a decolonising and decentering trajectory for actor training.

    List of Figures

    List of Videos


    PART I

    Foreword by Jonathan Pitches

    Introduction: A Reconnaissance of Social Problems in Actor Training


    1 The Conceptual Framework of Ludic Activism

    2 The Precursors of Ludic Activism

    3 The Scheme of Work of Ludic Activism


    4 Enacting and Observing Ludic Activism


    5 Evaluation and Reflection on Ludic Activism

    Conclusion: Towards Teacher-student Alliances that Decolonise and Decenter Actor Training



    Evi Stamatiou is a practitioner-researcher of actor training. She is a Senior Lecturer in Acting for Stage and Screen and Course Leader of the MA/MFA Acting for Stage and Screen at the University of East London. She holds a Ph.D. from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She is the chair of the Acting Program at the Association for Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) and a convener of the Performer Training working group at the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA).