Presentational and Representational Acting

Presentational And Representational Acting

Presentational acting and the related representational acting are critical terms used within theatre aesthetics and criticism.

Due to the same terms being applied to certain approaches to acting that contradict the broader theatrical definitions, however, the terms have come to acquire often overtly contradictory senses.

In the most common sense (that which relates the specific dynamics of theatre to the broader aesthetic category of ‘representational art’ or ‘mimesis’ in drama and literature), the terms describe two contrasting functional relationships between the actor and the audience that a performance can create.

In the other (more specialized) sense, the terms describe two contrasting methodological relationships between the actor and his or her character in performance.

The collision of these two senses can get quite confusing. The type of theatre that uses ‘presentational acting’ in the first sense (of the actor-audience relationship) is often associated with a performer using ‘representational acting’ in the second sense (of their methodology). Conversely, the type of theatre that uses ‘representational acting’ in the first sense is often associated with a performer using ‘presentational acting’ in the second sense. While usual, these chiastic correspondences do not match up in all cases of theatrical performance.

Read more about Presentational And Representational Acting:  The Actor–audience Relationship, The Actor–character Relationship, Confusion of Terms

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Presentational And Representational Acting - See Also - Related Practitioners and Dramatic Genres
... Representational actor–audience relations Constantin Stanislavski Stanislavski's 'system' Method acting Meisner technique André Antoine Otto Brahm J ... Grein Naturalism Psychological realism Presentational actor-audience relations Bertolt Brecht Epic theater Vsevolod Meyerhold Erwin Piscator Joan Littlewood and theatre workshop Augusto Boal ...
Actor - Techniques - Presentational and Representational Acting
... Presentational acting refers to a relationship between actor and audience, whether by direct address or indirectly by specific use of language, looks, gestures or other signs indicating that the ... use of punning and wordplay, for example, often has this function of indirect contact.) In representational acting, "actors want to make us 'believe' they are the character they pretend." The illusion ...

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