Cultural Camouflage: Acting Identities in World War 2 Espionage

  • Fraser Stevens
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


During World War 2 the Allied Forces established the Special Operations Executive, a department dedicated to espionage and clandestine affairs. Specific to one training base, known as a finishing school, was the production of cover stories and false identities. In this location actors were brought in to help agents with cultural camouflage, the event of assuming and enacting a new cultural identity. Accompanying this instruction were a set of manuals that would identify particular cultural and societal characteristics and challenges, as well as providing basic training skills that agents might have to employ, and were likely to engage with and require during fieldwork.


Espionage Actor training Stanislavsky Michael Chekhov S.O.E. Identity 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations