Performer Training

A group that shares research about performer training in all its manifestations.

The End of Training

Deadline: Thursday 13 April 2017

The Performer Training Working Group has been meeting for twelve years and has produced several collaborative outputs, including a variety of contributions to the thrice-yearly journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, dedicated to training in all its manifestations, and the associated blog The working group co-convenors are delighted to issue a call for contributions for the forthcoming 2017 TaPRA conference. We are interested in a range of presentation formats including the following:

  • formal papers (max 20 minutes)
  • provocations or position statements (max 10 minutes)
  • instances of practice as research or short workshops/demonstrations (30-60 min)
The End of Training One of the key ways in which performer training has been conceptualised during the 20th Century has been as an ongoing and open-ended activity that the performer should maintain throughout their life (for example Stanislavski 2008). Another key idea has been a blurring of the boundaries between the performer’s private and artistic self and accordingly there has been a call to performers to bring their whole self into the training studio as well as to approach quotidian aspects of daily life as opportunities for training. Partly as a provocation to the aforementioned axioms, and partly as an invitation to think about performer training in new ways, this year’s theme draws on the multiple meanings of the word ‘end’: as a limit, an aim, a stop, a completion and a boundary. As such, the intention of this year’s gathering is to probe at the interstices of the relationship between performer training and training as a wider human activity that takes place in areas beyond performance; to examine the various ways in which performer training theory and practice might be used within cognate as well as distant fields; to explore what happens when training ‘finishes’ and under what conditions it may be understood to be reaching an end; to explore if training can indeed ever really ‘end’. We invite proposals that may address, but are not limited to, the following questions:
  • Where and when does training finish within a performer’s overall artistic journey? How can we know if a form of training has stopped working for the trainee and what makes training stop?
  • Do performer training traditions also reach an end? (What) Can we learn from performer training traditions that have become obsolete?
  • To what extent and in what ways does training in/for performance relate to other kinds of training one undergoes throughout one’s life?
  • What is the relationship between post-structuralist accounts, which view training as a form of inscription and conceptualisations of the post-human, which view subjectivity as emergent and distributed (Braidotti 2013)? Does the posthuman spell the end of training as a foundational activity in the formation of the subject/artist? Or can training operate in a non-inscriptive manner?
  • What ends can performer training serve apart from performance? In what other areas may performer training be useful as a practice, theory or methodology?
  • What are the boundaries between performer training and other disciplines? From what other fields does performer training borrow or become inspired?
  • What are the limits of training? What may be the areas, attributes or ‘things’ that training cannot or should not reach? But also to what ends do we go to train?
  • What is at the end of training? What does training leave the trainee and/or a community of practitioners with?
  • How might we frame formal training (for example in universities and conservatoires which often have a prescribed duration) in relation to a performer’s training after graduating or completing a cycle of studies?
Submitting a Proposal Please email all abstracts (no more than 300 words in length), an additional few sentences of biographical information, and precise details of the audio-visual technology you will need to make your presentation to Maria Kapsali (, Kate Craddock, Tom Cantrell ( The deadline for the submission of proposals is Thursday 13 April 2017.   Circulation of paper-based presentations in advance of the conference Papers are circulated in advance of the conference, so paper contributors should be prepared to have a full paper by early/mid August. Please note that our group also welcomes participation from colleagues who do not wish to submit papers or other presentations. However, if you do wish to participate in our working group, but are not delivering a paper, please email us your name and details so we can ensure you receive papers in advance. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal (TDPT) TaPRA Papers may be considered for further development and publication in the Routledge Journal TDPT,

Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for a TaPRA event. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Participation. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.

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