Perform “the space”, not “in the space”: Incorporating place, environment and imagination in integrative practices

Robert Lewis and Dominique Sweeney

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Robert Lewis and Dominique Sweeney at Charles Sturt University are developing integrative practices and experimentation in the undergraduate acting program. They draw on a wide range of practical and theoretical experiences including Lecoq, Butoh, Suzuki Actor Training Method and Laban Movement Analysis. In this article they discuss how actors train to respond through an integrated awareness of personal space – body and voice – with place and architecture. The interactive approach to actor training is designed to extend imaginations through identification beyond the constricts of the human body. Actors explore shape, colour, animals, elements, substances, poetry and the great themes of existence. This is related to the local environment. Their actor-training research is located in the place and the instilled history or infused atmosphere. Technology and performance practice change constantly. Places too are temporal with changes in landscape over time. Where we are here and now in this moment is the constant. That is what we are compelled to share. This awareness is developed through careful and detailed observation of place. Original actor training gives the method and the participant actors power and ownership of their work located in place.


Acting; Voice; Movement; Land; Place; Environment; Space

To cite this article

Lewis, Robert and Dominique Sweeney. “Perform ‘the space’, not ‘in the space’: Incorporating place, environment and imagination in integrative practices.” Fusion Journal, no. 15, 2019, pp. 85-96.

First published online: March 2019

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