CFP: The S Word: Stanislavski and the future of Acting (18-20 March, 2016)


The Stanislavski Centre presents:

The “S Word”: Stanislavski and the future of Acting.

An international Symposium:

Call for Papers/Workshops/Panels

Co-Conveners: Professor Bella Merlin (University of California, Riverside), and

Professor Paul Fryer (Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance)

Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March, 2016

at Rose Bruford College, and Christopher Court (Sidcup, UK).

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in collaboration with the University of California, Riverside, are seeking curious, thought-provoking contributors for The

“S Word” Symposium’. The Symposium will investigate current acting processes and paradigms that incorporate Stanislavski’s practices and teachings.

We ask whether it is time (given advances in both the scientific understanding of human behaviour and in performance practices across the media) for a paradigm shift.

The symposium will open on the evening of 18th March with:

Keynote address: Professor Anatoly Smeliansky (President, Moscow Art Theatre School)

The Stanislavski Centre/Routledge Annual Lecture: Professor Sharon Carnicke (University of Southern California)

Sponsored by Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

We are seeking proposals for papers, workshops, and panel discussions on the following series of provocations:

Section 1: Theory, History, Criticism

‘What do our students know about Stanislavski, and does it make any difference to their work?’; ‘What really is Stanislavski’s system anyway?’; ‘ Shouldn’t we move on now that we know so much more than Stanislavski did about cognition and psychology?’.

Section 2: Actor-Training

‘How are we using Stanislavski (or not) to train our students for the 21st-century industry?’; ‘Who says Stanislavski has all the answers? (What about Strasberg, Chekhov, Meyerhold, Vakhtangov, Demidov, et al.?)’; ‘Do we really need to teach our students about dead Russians? Aren’t there new and better training models?’

Section 3: Rehearsal Processes

‘Do actors and directors even use Stanislavski in the rehearsal room?’; ‘How do we use terminology in the rehearsal room – and who cares anyway?’; ‘How can we possibly use Stanislavski’s system for rehearsing postmodern and post-dramatic pieces?’

Section 4: Performance Practices

‘Does Stanislavski’s system have any relevance to contemporary film and TV?’; ‘What application does Stanislavski have to theatrical or performative forms not based on psychological realism, including dance, ballet, opera, drama theatre?’; ‘How does what we know about our brains now influence the choices we make in performance – or doesn’t it make any difference?’.

Papers should be of 20 minutes duration, workshops or other practical sessions should be of 45 minutes duration.

Topics lying outside of these provocations but within the four subject areas are also welcomed.

Selected papers and other material will be published in the Stanislavski Studies journal in a special edition in spring 2017.

Findings arising from workshops, papers, discussions and plenaries will lead to stage 2 of this investigation – a Practical Laboratory to be held at the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production at the University of California, Riverside, in 2017. During this proposed Practical Laboratory, leading practitioners will explore and experiment with ideas surrounding a paradigm shift in acting with groups of registered participants.

Proposals for papers, workshops or panel debates (a maximum of 300 words please) should be sent to Professor Paul Fryer (paul.fryer) to arrive no later than Monday 9th November.

Full details of attending the symposium (including registration costs, accommodation, etc.) will be published next month.

Booking for the event will open in November.

Bella Merlin (University of California Riverside)

Paul Fryer (Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance)

Prof.Paul Fryer
Assoc. Dir of Research