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I go from reading to performing


Lena Dahlén


I go from reading to performing - descriptions from a monologue practice

Dissertation in Musical Performance and Interpretation, 2012.


I go from reading to performing - descriptions from a monologue practice is a dissertation based on an actor’s work with monologues. The path of work is traced and described from a practitioner’s perspective. Concrete examples are used and examined in order to ‘sift out’ and expose the specific conditions this work involves. The dissertation follows the path from reading to performing, where one person, as in a monologue, is the speaker. It consists of three parts. In the first part the given circumstances of the path to performance are described.

The questions that are posed along the way include: What role does the audience play? What significance does the performing space have for performance expression ? How is a written text read, lived through, reshaped and transferred to performance? The second part is based on, and delimits, the search for a »living« performance. And what is that ? What is presence? What different past and present acts does the actor have to relate to? What does rehearsing, what does ‘acquiring habitual practice’, involve? Habitual practice as a condition for change and as a condition for the unexpected and for the spontaneous is portrayed.

The significance of detail for the performance and for the particularity of the performance is also described. The dissertation’s first and second part lead on to the third part, which exemplifies the particular. This is followed by rehearsals of Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days. Here, the actor’s searching sheds its light on the dissertation’s earlier reflections. That reflection is based on practice and that it is examples that are used to capture, in writing, a fleeting path that disappears in an actor’s steps, is a part of the study’s task – and a result. To examine and convey something of the transient nature of this work from a practitioner’s perspective is its aim.

ISBN : 978-91-7844-840-1

This is thesis no 32 in the ArtMonitor dissertation series.


This dissertation is published in Swedish with an English summary.

The disseration is e-published

The dissertation is e-published in GUPEA (Göteborgs universitets publikationer - Elektroniskt Arkiv). Download the dissertation

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