Brisbane Junior Theatre’s Abridged Method Acting System


Jack Bradford

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Abstract

In Australian youth theatre there is a need to develop more quality theatre opportunities for young actors and performers. This article is a practitioner led exploration of Brisbane Junior Theatre’s methodologies, practices, performance and training techniques, more specifically BJT’s uniquely developed and relevant Abridged Method Acting System (AMAS), designed to prepare and equip actors with craftsmanship based theatrical skills for a career in the performing arts. BJT’s unique actor method is an abridged, condensed; refocused combination of internally driven Stanislavsky based methods and the external action driven methods such as Meyerhold, Laban, Lacoq and the classical acting method of British actors in the 20th century. BJT’s acting method is like a gourmet “happy meal” meant to be understood and used by performers from different stages of cognitive development as well as experience. This article will begin by demonstrating the need as well as the relevance and significance for developing more quantity as well as quality professional theatrical technique for young actors in Australia. The article will then will briefly introduce the work and training methods and processes of Brisbane Junior Theatre including the “Abridged Method Acting System”. The article continues by describing and defining engaging motivational factors that lead young performers to seek and obtain consistent theatrical technique training. This topic will be followed by a brief discussion on the significance of developing craftsmanship for young people and the implications of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development on youth training methods. This will be followed by a brief overview of historical youth theatres that have offered focused technique training from the 19th Century to the present. This discussion will include research information on the benefits of developing performance technique for young performers. The article will then define and describe Brisbane Junior Theatre’s “Abridged Method Acting System” actor-training process identifying the basic elements, phases and processes used in training and performance. The article will then discuss BJT’s basic elements including “want feeling, action and point of focus” and will demonstrate the process using these elements through the use of two document-based tools: The “Beat Analysis Worksheet” and the “Dramatic Action Graph: A time over intensity analysis.” The article will then draw some conclusions highlighting the significance of developing strategic youth theatre techniques such as BJT’s Abridged Method Actor System.

Keywords

Youth Theatre; Stanislavsky; Australia; Acting Methodology; Performance; Training

To cite this article

Bradford, Jack. “Brisbane Junior Theatre’s Abridged Method Acting System.” Fusion Journal, no. 17, 2020, pp. 20-38. https://fusion-journal.com/brisbane-junior-theatres-abridged-method-acting-system/

First published online: April 2020

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