Acting the Essence: The Performer's Work on the Self

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Acting the Essence examines the theory, practice, and history of the art of the performer from the perspective of its inner nature as work on oneself, within, around, and beyond the pedagogy of the actor.

Ref lecting primarily on the legacy of Jerzy Grotowski, this book is composed of a series of ref lections on the Stanislavskian lineage of practitioners and related authors, in an attempt to revive awareness of the original path traced by the Russian master and to refine certain ambiguities in contemporary training. In a new media age of image and sound, accompanied by a proliferation of new technologies and means to communicate, emphasised by the COVID-19 crisis, a classic question comes to be asked of us again: What is the essence and the principal objective of the work of the performer? Is performing art still necessary? While proposing a theoretical advancement of the discipline and an historical overview of the relevant practices, this book provides tools for a better understanding of the traditional function of the performer’s practice as work on the self, for its ecological renaissance through a conscient use of trance, attention, and altered states of consciousness.

This book offers insight for students in drama, theatre, and performance courses studying acting and performance at university.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York; Abingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages220
ISBN (Electronic)9781003173076
ISBN (Print)9781032001739, 9781032001715
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Giuliano Campo. All rights reserved.


  • Acting
  • Stanislavsky
  • Grotowski
  • Pirandello
  • Simone Weil
  • Art as Vehicle
  • Work on the Self
  • Ritual Arts
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Trance
  • Possession
  • Attention


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