The Acrobat of the Heart Video is the record of a learning process: A visual journal in thirteen chapters. In chapters 1–10, Stephen Wangh leads a group of undergraduate students as they progress through the psychophysical acting training inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski. The final three lessons show the scene and monologue work of more experienced actors.

Select the Version that Matches Your Goals:

Form and Freedom in Psychophysical Acting

The exercises created by Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre are not prescriptions: they are provocations aimed at stimulating the actor’s imagination and creativity. More important than the physical forms, the manner in which the actor approaches this work provides the performer with a flexible and dependable process for discovery of emotional truth and the creation of repeatable performances. Because this physical approach to acting stimulates actors to risk their deepest truths, it also teaches actors how to create real safety and great generosity in their practice.

What’s in the video:

  • Physical training and voice exercises.
  • Real-time views of how the exercises are taught.
  • Close-ups of particular physical details in the exercises.
  • A clear progression showing how the exercises can develop from technical forms to living containers of image and emotion.
  • Examples of how the actor can progress from the exercises to work with text, scene and monologue.
  • Teacher-student interactions that illustrate the push and pull of the learning process itself.
  • Examples of the difficulties and the break-throughs that actors may encounter as they engage with this work.
  • Teaching versions of every lesson with voice over comments on the pedagogy of psychophysical acting.