Cultural Transmission of Actor Training Techniques (CTATT) is a research project which studies how actor training techniques are transmitted across cultures. It understands transmission processes not as simplistic and linear shifts of knowledge from transmitter to receiver, but as dynamic acts in which the latter is as much an agent as the former, and in which practices are appropriated and transformed. The Project investigates both historical as well as contemporary instances of actor training transmission. It is particularly interested in examples of modern and embodied training regimes, especially Stanislavsky’s System and Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, and their application in contemporary performance. The Project is based at the Department of Theatre Studies (University of Malta).
The Project builds on a major publication titled Stanislavsky in the World: The System and its Transmission across Continents, co-edited by Dr Stefan Aquilina and Prof. Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds). This book featured a strong international network of 18 researchers and practitioners from six continents, who provided case-studies of Stanislavskian transmission in contexts as diverse as Australia, Japan, China, South Africa, Tunisia, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, and others. The Project, therefore, partakes in the same study as the book, in that they are both interested in the cross-cultural movement of actor training, but treats this key focus as a practice-based research endeavour.
The aims of the Project are:
to create a series of research actions – workshops, residencies, seminars, conferences – that revolve around the transmission across cultures of actor training techniques;
to reach out to the largest possible international audience that is directly invested in the study and practice of actor training and performance;
to create and disseminate a body of knowledge related to actor training, such as workshop documentation, recorded interviews, published scholarly material, etc.
The Project was launched in 2018 through initial funding provided by the University of Malta Research Grant Committee and Arts Council Malta – Malta Arts Fund.