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29th April, 2017

Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Actor Training – A Symposium

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - University of London

Event Details

Date:
29th April, 2017
Time:
9:30 - 13:00
Venue:
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
62-64 Eton Avenue
London
NW3 3HY
Price:
Free

This symposium will offer participants the chance to hear about and discuss recently developed practice in training actors with specific learning differences (SpLDs) – dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Presenters from a range of actor training institutions will share research and good practice, which aims to develop inclusive teaching strategies and successful learning outcomes for neurodiverse students. The presentations will discuss research and practice that draws on, neuroscience, psychology and practice based pedagogy and offers practical solutions to incorporate into acting, voice/text and movement classes. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Dr Sylvan Baker.

 

Presentations

A neuroscientific hypothesis for psychophysical performance

With Colin Farquharson and Tanya Zybutz.

Exploring how the ‘narrative brain’ and ‘sensory brain’ modes affect the neuro-diverse actor’s experience and understanding of the actor’s craft.

In this session we will follow Hamlet’s advice to the players by looking at the Six Directions in Space as a tool to help students translate their performance by, “Suit(ing) the action to the word, the word to the action.”

 

More than coloured paper: psychophysical training methods and the dyslexic and/or dyspraxic actor

With Daron Oram

This presentation offers a set of guiding principles for the training of actors with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) dyslexia and dyspraxia. This work is the result of a two-year case study of student actors on the BA Acting – Collaborative and Devised Theatre Course (Acting CDT) at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD). This study focuses on the core psycho-physical training in voice, movement and acting, which takes place alongside and prior to work on text.

 

Interacting with Shakespeare’s text through a dyslexic perspective; interpretive mnemonics as a pedagogical strategy for facilitation of dyslexia in actor-training

With Dr. Petronilla Whitfield

How might actor-trainers meet the needs of student-actors with dyslexia, especially when interacting with Shakespeare’s text? As a teacher of Voice and Acting, I regularly encounter acting students with dyslexia who experience difficulties working within the confines of traditional teaching methods when engaging with the written text. For those with dyslexia, Shakespeare’s writing contributes additional challenges, with idiosyncrasies of word-use and mixed significations of meanings. In this presentation, I will give an overview of my (concluded) PhD research investigation into some dyslexic acting students’ rationale for devising visual constructs as parallel text and I will offer some ideas for practical teaching strategies, which can by-pass the blocks caused by dyslexia. Finally, I will question where the educator’s role as the enabler, in promoting a sense of self-autonomy in their students, might diverge from the role of the vocational trainer for the professional world.


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