Tele Psychic Acting

  • Sepideh Nazaripour

Student thesis: Phd


ABSTRACT The principal objective of this doctoral project is to contribute a new acting technique to enhance the development of forms of creativity for the actor. My research question that drives this project then is: How to control the inner processes of creating the role through a new technique? In fact, I will argue that a deep understanding of the subconscious mind can release creativity in more spontaneous ways. This study will investigate the potential of the subconscious for the actor through an exploration of psychological theories of access to different ‘mind frequencies’, as well as looking at more recent theories generically centred on the concept of ‘mind control’ through thoughts. The output of this research project, carried out in part through my own theatrical practice, is to develop a system for actor training and performance, which is defined, later in the thesis, as ‘The Mind Technique’. More specifically, I proposed tele-psychic acting as a technique that systematically taps into the hidden subconscious power of the mind, which allows the actor a wider scrutiny of roles from different, creative perspectives. This thesis is organised into two sections – these are roughly divided between theory and practice. In the theoretical section, I reviewed a critical examination of the inner processes at work in role creation as pioneered by Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Chekhov, Grotowski, and Zarrilli (Chapter 1), followed by the literature around creativity and acting processes (Chapter 2). To illustrate my idea, I used diagrams which easily present different acting methods and formulas which explain the mechanism of methods of acting. Finally, I provided a reflexive and critical account of my own experiences as an actor engaged in the process of both making and performing work. The practice section of the thesis has been built around the critical analysis of four distinct workshops where I worked with a group of Iranian actors (Case study 1) and around the performance of my version of Medea; (Case study 2). Here we worked on ways of tapping into the subconscious, utilising Alpha frequencies, improvisation, and an open creativity, to try and understand the cumulative function of the subconscious mind in process of creating the role (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 is used to discuss the findings and assess the feedback from earlier workshops in Iran in relation to the Mind Technique, discuss and analysing the process of creating Medea followed by conclusion which explains how the research has helped me to formulate a method for practice and approach the questions from a different perspective (Chapter 5).
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAlison Jeffers (Supervisor) & Maggie Gale (Supervisor)

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