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Enabling Performance: Dyslexia and Acting

Leveroy, Deborah (2013) Enabling Performance: Dyslexia and Acting. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:75621)

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This thesis is concerned with the lived experience of dyslexic actors. It explores the role of performance in constructing dyslexic identities, actors’ relationships to written and verbal language, the ways in which this might impact on their acting process and implications for teaching practice. Research into dyslexia and acting practice is needed in light of the growing interest in cognition within the field of performance theory, the legislative framework surrounding dyslexia, implications for policy and practice and the numbers of professional actors with dyslexia. The methodology draws on a range of paradigms, namely phenomenology, embodied cognition and disability theory and adopts a mixed methods approach, in order to explore the complex nature of dyslexia and address a range of research questions. The research finds that the research participants have a different intentional relationship to language and linear sequencing. Certain training and acting experiences have given them a differentexperience of being in the world, creating positive dyslexic identities and body images. Disabling training approaches predicated on linear-sequencing and literacy, are the antithesis to methods which utilise non-linear, holistic and non-verbal processing. Actors manipulate the physical environment and the objects in it, to control what is otherwise a chaotic environment. A number of examples of inclusive practice and support models exist, but evidence of disabling practices remain. The research has potential policy and pedagogical implications both for actor training institutions and the industry. It also has implications for those dyslexic learners who are not professional actors, as acting may have cognitive benefits for such people and encourage positive dyslexic identities. There are broader implications relating to theatre and performance theory as a discipline, as models of neuro-diversity (such as dyslexia) can enhance current performance theory. This research may also encourage dyslexic actors not to merely survive but to thrive in the acting profession.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Drama and Theatre
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 14:20 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 08:18 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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