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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.