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12 Pages

Introduction

ByELLEN MARGOLIS AND LISSA TYLER RENAUD

It is surprising that there isn’t already a book addressing how these developments are refl ected in actor training. We have heard these matters debated in the proverbial hallway conversation for many years, expressed informally in half-formed anxieties and experiential knowledge about power relationships. When the editors of this book brought forth these issues in a panel session at the 2004 Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference in Toronto, there was consensus from an exciting mix of academic and professional theatre people that the topic of actor training and its politics-the powerful undercurrents of their professions-needed to be formalized in fully-articulated, published, and disseminated work. We have been galvanized by enthusiastic remarks, in subsequent private discussions and public presentations, that such a project is “long overdue.” Although there are certainly well-known books on specifi c approaches to acting, anthologies of essays from theoretical and historical perspectives on acting, and individual articles that explore some of the challenges of actor education, questions about the politics of acting pedagogy in the U.S. have not heretofore been treated in a single volume.