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Reimagining ‘role’ and ‘character’: An approach to acting training for role-play simulation in the tertiary education setting

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The efficacy of role-play simulation (RPS) education rests on its ability to comprehensively reflect real-life situations. The goal is to create immersive events or situations that enable a student to spontaneously respond in a controlled environment that nevertheless reflects their anticipated work experience. While an extensive body of literature exists that reports on the aims, working methods and outcomes of RPS across empirically based disciplines such as medicine and health, law, business, social work, engineering, management, and education, very little research has been published on appropriate or possible training models for the ‘actors’ in RPS. Reporting on a multi-part, interdisciplinary action research project based at the University of Newcastle, Australia, across the subject areas of drama and pharmacy (2012), and later occupational therapy (2013–18), this article examines an actor-training method that reimagines approaches to developing ‘role’ and ‘character’ in RPS and evaluates the outcomes for student learning.

Keywords: acting; actor training; occupational therapy; pharmacy; role-play simulation (RPS); spontaneity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Newcastle, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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