Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Cecilia Pang

Second Advisor

Oliver Gerland

Third Advisor

Penelope Cole

Fourth Advisor

Donna Mejia

Fifth Advisor

Danielle Liccardo


Currently theatre movement studies tend to occur in actor and director training, rather than introduction to theatre and theatre appreciation courses. Theatre scholars and theatregoers are educated in textual analysis; why are we not supplementing this education with training in movement analysis? Four specific, notable movement-based actor training approaches, which are being taught throughout the United States today are the focus of this study: Jerzy Grotowski’s psychophysical actor training, Etienne Decroux’s Corporeal Mime, Rudolf Laban’s Movement Analysis, and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints. In addition to analyzing the language and pedagogy laid out in a text written by the originator of the approach, I observed and/or studied with prominent instructors throughout the United States currently teaching actor training in an evolved version of these approaches in an attempt to discern a common movement language. Experiencing the teaching of these forms physically enabled me to write from a place of embodiment, enhancing my experience with the approach’s relationship to both the body and the mind. This study’s importance reaches from furthering the dialogue between practical teaching of stage movement and its analysis to the impact a theatre specific movement analysis vocabulary will have on how scholars and audience members interact with theatre performance.