Watch Four Free Sample Lessons

The Acrobat of the Heart Video documents the training of 11 undergraduate students as Steve Wangh leads them through the psychophysical approach to acting inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski.

The video contains 13 chapters. In Chapters 1–10, Steve introduces the concept of an Actor’s Warm-up, then takes us through the details of Grotowski’s “Corporal” and “Plastique” Exercises, and finally coaches students as they move from the physical exercises into work with Voice and with Text. Chapters 11–13 show Steve leading more experienced actors as they apply the psychophysical training to scene and monologue work. 

Creating Your Own Warm-up

From What is an Actor’s Warm-up?

Several lessons in this video explore the question: What is an actor’s warm-up? In each of these, the underlying theme is that, in this psychophysical approach to acting, one is not just learning a “technique,” but is also discovering how to become one’s own teacher.


Introducing the Cat

From The Corporal Exercises

Grotowski’s psychophysical approach to acting training can sometimes seem mysterious, and may provoke questions like: What do these physical exercises have to do with real acting? Here, Steve speaks directly to teachers, explaining the “why” and the “how” of what we are doing.


More Corporal Exercises (an excerpt)

From The Corporal Exercises

This is an excerpt from a class in which Steve introduces several of the full-body forms. During this lesson, he encourages the actors to discover how these exercises – forms which may appear quite “acrobatic” – actually serve as what Grotowski called “provocations,” exterior forms designed to help actors discover their personal sources of image and emotion.


The Winter’s Tale

From Shakespeare Monologue Excerpts

While the early lessons in this video provide exercises designed to help actors connect their bodies and voices with their emotional lives, the later lessons show how actors make the transition from the exercises into scene and monologue work. In this lesson, we watch as one actor rehearses a few lines from a Shakespeare monologue, discovering how the psychophysical work can lead to both depth and precision in rehearsal and performance.