Creative Acting

  • Robert BartonEmail author
Part of the Creativity Theory and Action in Education book series (CTAE, volume 2)


Actors, while their work is to some extent defined by playwrights and directors, can bring significant creativity to any performance context. This essay uses Meryl Streep as a role model through her preparation and work ethic. It offers actors a three-step process, moving from investigation through inference to invention. Approaches to creative performance include nontraditional character analysis with a strong emphasis on the future, exploring behavior modalities, the layering in of conditioning forces, abstract analysis, and a series of exercises to shake up standard rehearsal procedure by taking the character and scene to various brief extremes. These approaches collectively provide ways to welcome creativity without trying to summon it directly, an approach similar to the way the Stanislavski system indirectly beckons emotion by planting the circumstances in which it is most likely to emerge.


Meryl Streep Stanislavski NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Conditioning forces Character analysis Rehearsal experimentation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus Professor of Theatre ArtsUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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