Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Marvin Carlson

Committee Members

Peter Eckersall

Jean Graham-Jones

Frédérique de Vignemont

Subject Categories

Acting | Cognition and Perception | Other Philosophy | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies | Philosophy of Mind


theatre, performance, embodiment, acting, training, enactivism


In this dissertation I present and analyze three distinct actor-training exercises primarily through the lens of the Embodied Cognition (EC) branch of contemporary philosophy, which attempts to frame human understanding as a fully embodied interaction with the environment. Drawing from neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, and other branches of philosophy, EC provides both an excellent set of tools and a strong theoretical framework to help explain how people encounter meaning in life. I apply its unique perspectives to this philosophical account of the embodied actor as I analyze the various elements at play in actor training praxis, which allows me to shed some light on both the mysterious craft of acting and on theatre itself.

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