Found in translation : debating the abstract elements of cultures through actor training styles

Heim, Caroline (2013) Found in translation : debating the abstract elements of cultures through actor training styles. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4(3), pp. 353-367.

View at publisher


While the synthesis of acting methodologies in intercultural acting has been discussed at length, little discussion has focussed on the potential of diverse actor training styles to affect performance making and audience reception. This article explores a project where the abstract elements of the British and American cultures were translated in rehearsal and in production through the purposeful juxtaposition of two differing actor training styles: the British ‘traditional’ approach and the American Method. William Nicholson’s Shadowlands was produced by Crossbow Productions at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2010. Nicholson’s play contains a discourse on the cultural cringe of British – American relations. As a research project, the production aimed to extend and augment audience experience of the socio-cultural tensions inherent in the play by juxtaposing two seemingly culturally inscribed approaches to acting.

Actors were chosen who had been trained under a traditional conservatoire approach and the American Method. A brief overview of these acting approaches is followed by a discussion centred on the project. This article analyses how from the casting room to the rehearsal room to the mise en scene and into the audience discussions, cultural issues were articulated, translated and debated through the language of acting.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

117 since deposited on 08 Jan 2014
58 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 65766
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Method acting, British acting, cultural difference, Shadowlands, Intercultural
DOI: 10.1080/19443927.2013.838738
ISSN: 1944-3919
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Routledge : Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in [include the complete citation information for the final version of the article as published in the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, October 2013, [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
Deposited On: 08 Jan 2014 02:09
Last Modified: 14 May 2015 08:54

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page