Knowing, but not knowing: Conscious and Unconscious performance practice

Engagement activity: External performance, talk or presentationTalk for a mainly non-academic audience (e.g. for the general public, community or industry)

Marc Silberschatz (Invited speaker), 12 Jun 2017

Instinct, inspiration and the unconscious mind hold an arguably central place in thinking about art and creative practice. And yet the relationship of the unconscious to creative work in the performing arts is complicated by working practices that consist of both rehearsal and performance, which thereby introduce elements of repetition and structure-execution. Where then is the unconscious most suitably deployed in the performer’s creative process?

This talk will take the form of a demonstration of practices that attempt to ask how actors might perform from an unconscious rather than conscious mind-set. Silberschatz, along with two actors will present a (necessarily abridged) form of these provisional practices through exploration and performance of a short extract from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, annotating the work for clarity. Drawing on a variety of sources including Nikolai Demidov, Carl Jung and a 2,000 year old Jewish mystical text, the demonstration will attempt to explore both how and why performers might work from the unconscious and demonstrate the results of doing so.

Though working specifically in a theatrical context, it is hoped that the questions and practices might be of interest to practitioners of a variety of disciplines in the performing arts.

Featuring: Annelise Bianchini and Mathew Miles


TitleExchange Talk
LocationRoyal Conservatoire of Scotland
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom