chapter  5
18 Pages

Training Artists or Consumers? Commentary on American


American actor training seeks to thrive in the tension between the two opposing impulses in arts policy expressed in the chapter’s opening quotations-one celebrating artistic “difference” across the country, and one seeking to bring the disparate arts communities under the single banner of “America”; that is, one a de-centralizing impulse, the other, centralizing. In the U.S., actor training tries on the one hand to respond to market needs to serve the most students (de-centralizing, spreading out, dividing), and on the other hand to gather the students together under the umbrellas of a few prominent methods or teachers’ work (centralizing, unifying, consolidating).4 As American actor training negotiates these extremes, there are repercussions both for acting students and for the American theatre.