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Posted 06 June 2010

Leading Irish performers on the nature of performance

Perhaps the best known approach to performance is ‘the method’ or ‘method acting’ through which actors deeply analyse the motivations and emotions of their characters in order to personify them with psychological realism and emotional authenticity.

‘The method’ usually refers to the teachings of Lee Strasberg, but is actually derived from a system developed by Konstantin Stanislavski in his search for ‘truthful performances’ while collaborating with playwright Anton Chekhov, and acting and teaching with the Moscow Art Theatre in the early to mid-1900s.

Pictured far right: Olwen Fouéré in Sodome My Love. Photograph: Conor Horgan

In 1923, Stanislavski brought his Moscow Art Theatre to the United States. This had a profound influence on Lee Strasberg, who, after witnessing the performances, worked to perfect the best-known American adaptation of the Stanislavski ’system’.

To reflect on the nature of performance, Patrick Mason, Director of Theatre and Opera, and Adjunct Professor of Drama at the UCD School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin, chaired a panel discussion on ‘the performer in performance’ at Newman House, Dublin in April 2010.

Listen to panel discussion on 'the Performer in Performance'

The panel included Olwen Fouéré (Actor), Peter Tuite (Pianist), and Cindy Cummings (Dancer/Choreographer). Each member of the panel discussed their personal take on 'the performer in performance' with Patrick Mason and Ian Robertson, Professor of Psychology at TCD.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Olwen Fouéré in Sodome My Love. Photograph: Conor Horgan
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