Training for actors is a multi-disciplinary practice with study in three main categories: the actor’s voice, the actor’s body, and text studies. Unlike ballet dancing or learning a musical instrument, actor training is a culmination of various different techniques for each of these areas of study. The study of the actor’s body, through movement, is the most intricate area to decipher because it incorporates more varying techniques than voice and text studies.
With the mentorship of Joe Short, the theatre department’s professor of voice and movement at the University of Rhode Island, I investigated and compared the movement techniques of Laban, Meyerhold, Alexander, and Margolis. After delving into each technique through studio work, I then applied basic principles of physics. The root of physics is the Greek word “phusika”, meaning “the natural things”. Because theatre is considered a mirror of nature, physics joined with movement work for the actor’s body in many different ways including gravity, absorption, effort and work, space and time. These findings were transformed into workable exercises through a workshop for actors meant to expose how physics can be used to create more expression and less effort on stage.