What Do Actors Do in Contemporary Theatre


  • Luule Epner University of Tallinn




Playing, Poetics, Ambivalence, Political Theatre, Estonian Theatre, Theatre NO99


The article addresses the issue of strategies of acting in contemporary (largely postdramatic)
theatre. In thefirst part of thearticle, theacting isconceptualized asplaying, with referenceto
relevant theories, particularly that of Thomas Pavel. The article puts forward the argument
that the play world created in a theatre performance can be described by the continuous
fictional ? real spectrum that accommodates a number of strategies of acting. Within the
continuum, there exists an ongoing tension between the fictional and the real; their
relationship is largely variable depending on the strategies of acting at work in a particular
performance. In the second part of the article, these strategies are divided into three groups:
?being someone else?, ?being oneself ?and performing actions ? and are then analyzed on the
basisof examplesthat aredrawn primarily fromEstonian contemporary theatre.

Author Biography

Luule Epner, University of Tallinn

Luule Epner is Associate Professor at the University of Tallinn. She also lectures on theatre
research at the University of Tartu. Her main research fields are the relationships between
dramatic texts and theatre performances, the history of Estonian theatre and performance
analysis. Shehaspublished abook on dramatheory, DraamateooriaprobleemeI?II (1992-94),
and numerousarticleson contemporaryEstonian theatreand drama.




How to Cite

Epner, L. (2014). What Do Actors Do in Contemporary Theatre. Nordic Theatre Studies, 26(1), 20–30. https://doi.org/10.7146/nts.v26i1.109731



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