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The ethics of embodiment: actor training and habitual vulnerability

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Students of acting and their teachers profoundly form each other and are formed by each other, through their embodied interactions, within the institutional processes of actor training. Yet this embodied formation requires appropriate and sustainable ethical training practices. Such practices are lacking as evidenced by both the potential for and actual accounts of misuse of power by teachers over students in a highly intimate and vulnerable context of learning, exploration and risk-taking. Ethical values of respect, merit and integrity; justice and beneficence need to be considered in discussions and policy development of teaching and learning practices in acting schools. Ethical and sustainable practices built in training will flow through to ethical and sustainable practices in actor employment.
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Keywords: actor training; embodiment; ethical practices; inter-corporeality; vulnerability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sydney.

Publication date: 01 March 2010

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  • Performing Ethos is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal which considers ethical questions relating to contemporary theatre and live performance. Global in scope, it provides a unique forum for rigorous scholarship and serious reflection on the ethical dimensions of a wide range of performance practices from the politically and aesthetically radical to the mainstream.
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