Classical acting is an umbrella term for different acting techniques used together. It encompasses the use of the whole body, the full range and quality of the voice, the actor’s imagination, the actor’s ability to personalize, improvise, use external stimuli, and analyze scripts.
The focus of most physical training at drama school is to harness and control the body in order to use it for expression. This means exercises and stretches that result in an increased awareness and ability. Classical acting teaches that the body can be used to express character and action. There are no better examples of this than in dance and combat. This is why dance, especially period dance, is often taught alongside stage combat, two practices that require heightened awareness and control to achieve storytelling without words.
In this style of Acting, clear understanding of vocal ability, quality, and expressiveness is key. We use exercises to strengthen and increase the range of voice for clarity, projection and to give actors a full range to draw upon for an engaging vocal performance. They also focus on how to use the voice to express emotion clearly and truthfully rather than to ‘signal’ as in the case of melodrama and pantomime.
Being able to truthfully ‘travel in time’ requires a sense of what the world requires for someone to understand their environment, story, and most of all-their character.
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