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Teaching Strategies for Neurodiversity and Dyslexia in Actor Training

Sensing Shakespeare

Petronilla Whitfield



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12 August 2019
Teaching Strategies for Neurodiversity and Dyslexia in Actor Training addresses some of the challenges met by acting students with dyslexia and highlights the abilities demonstrated by individuals with specific learning differences in actor training.

The book offers six tested teaching strategies, created from practical and theoretical research investigations with dyslexic acting students, using the methodologies of case study and action research. Utilizing Shakespeare's text as a laboratory of practice and drawing directly from the voices and practical work of the dyslexic students themselves, the book explores:

the stress caused by dyslexia and how the teacher might ameliorate it through changes in their practice the theories and discourse surrounding the label of dyslexia the visual, kinaesthetic, and multisensory processing preferences demonstrated by some acting students assessed as dyslexic acting approaches for engaging with Shakespeare's language, enabling those with dyslexia to develop their authentic voice and abilities a grounding of the words and the meaning of the text through embodied cognition, spatial awareness, and epistemic tools Stanislavski's method of units and actions and how it can benefit and obstruct the student with dyslexia when working on Shakespeare Interpretive Mnemonics as a memory support and hermeneutic process, and the use of color and drawing towards an autonomy in live performance This book is a valuable resource for voice and actor training, professional performance, and for those who are curious about emancipatory methods that support difference through humanistic teaching philosophies.
By:   Petronilla Whitfield
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
Weight:   454g
ISBN:   9781138311817
ISBN 10:   1138311812
Pages:   218
Publication Date:   12 August 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dr. Petronilla Whitfield is Associate Professor in Voice and Acting at the Arts University Bournemouth, UK. She holds a PhD in Arts Pedagogy from Warwick University and an MA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Trained originally as an actor at Arts Educational Schools, she was a professional actor for twenty years. She has taught voice and acting at leading British actor training institutions and universities for eighteen years.

Reviews for Teaching Strategies for Neurodiversity and Dyslexia in Actor Training: Sensing Shakespeare

Teaching Strategies for Neurodiversity and Dyslexia by Dr. Petronilla Whitfield provides a valuable addition to the small but growing number of publications in the field of neurodiversity and actor training [...] the book works on several different levels. Not only does it provide an insight into teaching strategies for working with dyslexic students, it also provides teacher-researchers with an excellent model for a research methodology, and, for non-research based teachers, it provides a valuable case study of student-led learning with the teacher as collaborator [...] Whitfield advocates for an approach to actor training that is student-led and research-based and that is attentive to the diverse needs of students, and flexible and open to change. Whitfield's own work is a fine example of this approach and stands as a valuable model for future pedagogies of voice. - Daron Oram, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK Whitfield's book is so very valuable not only because she is one of a few focusing on dyslexia in actor training, but because this book contributes to a vastly underdeveloped research area in actor training overall. Throughout, her investigation is rigorous and her findings insightful. This book should be included on the reading list of every teacher-training program for theatre and drama. - Tara McAllister-Viel, Theatre Topics, UK

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