Kent Sjöström: Ludic Representation  CANCELLED!!

Malmö Theatre Academy

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The term play is present in every current discussion about the actor’s relation to the role.  Approaches to playing or representing a scenic character range from deeply personal and psychological sacrificial attitudes to more playful approaches that take the scenic situation and function of the role as the starting point. This lecture investigates the relation between these stances; I focus on the presuppositions concerning subjectivity that are implicit in these playful or sacrificial approaches to play and acting. The first attitude draws on the presumption that the personality is a stable base and point of departure for the act of representation (based on e. g. the tradition from Polus, Stanislavsky, Strassberg). Consequently, to play means to recycle the self. In the latter approach, however, the competence of a playful actor is understood as an ability to adapt to the rules governing the situation rather than to look for a psychological identification or personal unification with the character (represented in the practice and thinking of e. g. Brecht, Boal, Robert Cohen).  The role-taking in this case does not presuppose any fixed and autonomous self. To play means here to perform actions required by the scenic situation. The character might be seen as if created a posteriori, as a result of the situation, in line with the poststructuralism of J. Butler: here the self is seen as a performative self.  The lecture is aiming at sharing experience and ideas that contribute to the on-going discussion about identity, as well as ethical issues of representation and appropriation in the field of arts.

About Kent Sjöstrom
Kent Sjöström is the head of artistic research at the Malmö Theatre Academy, Sweden, and since 2010 he has been running The Theory and Practice of Theatre. In 2007 he completed the first Swedish PhD in Theatre in the field of artistic research. He is author of the monograph The Actor in Action – Strategies for Body and Mind.