1st Edition

Inside The Performance Workshop A Sourcebook for Rasaboxes and Other Exercises

    324 Pages 49 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    324 Pages 49 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Inside The Performance Workshop: A Sourcebook for Rasaboxes and Other Exercises is the first full-length volume dedicated to the history, theory, practice, and application of a suite of performer training exercises developed by Richard Schechner and elaborated on by the editors and contributors of this book. This work began in the 1960s with The Performance Group and has continued to evolve.

    Rasaboxes—a featured set of exercises—is an interdisciplinary approach for training emotional expressivity through the use of breath, body, voice, movement, and sensation. It brings together:

    • the concept of rasa from classical Indian performance theory and practice
    • research on emotion from neuroscience and psychology
    • experimental and experiential performance practices
    • theories of ritual, play, and performance

    This book combines both practical “how-to” guidance and applications from diverse contexts including undergraduate and graduate actor training, television acting, K-12 education, devising, and drama therapy. The book serves as an introduction to the work as well as an essential resource for experienced practitioners.

    Part I: History and Theory

    1. Richard Schechner and Origins of The Performance Workshop 

    Cobina Gillitt and Michele Minnick

    2. What is Rasa?

    Shanti Pillai

    3. Rasaesthetics

    Richard Schechner

    Part II: Practice

    4. Inside The Performance Workshop

    Paula Murray Cole, Michele Minnick, and Rachel Bowditch

    Part III: Facilitating The Performance Workshop

    5. Principles of The Performance Workshop: An Interview with Richard Schechner

    With Paula Murray Cole, Michele Minnick, and Rachel Bowditch

    6. The Unavoidable Guru: Roles of The Performance Workshop Leader

    Scott Wallin

    Part IV: Notes from the Field

    7. Freeing Emotional Expression in Young Performers: Rasaboxes in K-12 Context

    Elise Forier Edie

    8. Psychophysical Preparation for the Rasaboxes with Strasberg and Stanislavski

    Ursula Neuerburg

    9. Adapting Rasaboxes to Rasa≈Therapy: Clinical Applications in Drama Therapy

    Andrew M. Gaines

    10. Rasaboxes, Drama Therapy, and Stability Through Dynamic Change: A Case Study

    Dana Arie

    11. Rasaboxes in the Training of Drama Therapists

    Nisha Sajnani

    12. Dancing on the Tongue

    Erin B. Mee

    13. Lights, Camera, Action! Rasaboxes Training and Coaching for Brazilian Telenovelas

    Fernanda Guimarães

    14. Character Building Through Rasaboxes: Staging Electra at Teatro Prometeo

    Fernando Calzadilla

    15. Experimenting with the Clown in Rasaboxes

    Ana Achcar

    16. Dramaturgy of the Emotions: The Performance Workshop and Rasaboxes in Directing Machinal

    Rachel Bowditch


    Rachel Bowditch, PhD, is Professor of Theatre in the School of Music, Dance, and Theatre at Arizona State University, USA, and a theatre director. Bowditch is author of On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man, Performing Utopia, and Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field.

    Paula Murray Cole, MFA, LMT, is Associate Professor of acting, voice, movement, and the Alexander Technique in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Ithaca College, USA. Cole acted in Schechner’s productions and has taught and developed Rasaboxes and The Performance Workshop (TPW) since 1999.

    Michele Minnick, PhD, CMA, is an independent artist, scholar, and educator, whose current work focuses on the intersections of performance, somatic practice, social justice, and climate change. She is a core creator with Submersive Productions in Baltimore, MD, and the founder of Vital Matters.