World renowned theatrical scholar to visit Armidale

Published 15 July 2014

Arguably, the world’s most accomplished theatrical practice scholar, Professor Mary Luckhurst, will share her extraordinary insights into the creative practice of acting with members of the Armidale community, at a public lecture hosted by the University of New England, next week.

UNE Associate Professor of English and Theatre Studies, Anne Pender, explained Professor Luckhurst is visiting UNE next week, to lead workshops in creative practice for the University’s staff and students, but at the same time, the University is keen to share this extraordinary experience with the wider community.

“Professor Mary Luckhurst is probably one of the greatest influences on how we link the theoretical scholarship of theatre to the creative practice of writing, directing and acting in theatre or on the screen.

“She is a world renowned scholar who has published widely on the practice of acting, and on actors themselves, is the co-founder of one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious academic departments, the University of York Department of Theatre, Film and Television and is herself an accomplished practitioner.

“From her early years as an actor, to becoming a highly regarded playwright and director in her own right, she uniquely bridges the gap between learning the theory of theatre and putting it into practice.”

Professor Luckhurst will share her latest research on actors’ methods of channelling the spirits of their characters, in her presentation on The actor’s body as haunted house.

“Since the eighteenth century scholarly constructs of actor training have been allied with scientific considerations, yet the description of performance by actors themselves often alludes to the spectral,” Professor Luckhurst explains.

“Many performers describe acting in terms of making connections with an otherworldly realm, raising spirits, channelling energy forces and even resurrecting the dead.

“The late Phillip Seymour Hoffmann once described his craft as one ‘normal people run screaming from’, while Heath Ledger and countless actors before him have often struggled with the uncanny reality of becoming their characters.”

Members of the New England community are encouraged to attend Professor Luckhurst’s lecture, The actor’s body as haunted house, on Thursday, July 24, from 4pm, in Lecture Theatre A3, UNE Arts building. Refreshments will be provided following the event.

For more information, please contact UNE Media on 02 6773 2551

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