Body awareness in acting – a casestudy of TRE as a supporting tool fordrama students’ personal andprofessional development
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThommessen CS, Fougner M. Body awareness in acting – a casestudy of TRE as a supporting tool fordrama students’ personal andprofessional development. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. 2020 https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2019.1694971
Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) is an approach that assists the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of tension originated from stressful and traumatic experiences. This approach is included as a tool in the Method Acting curriculum of the three years Bachelor in Acting at NSKI University College in Norway. In this study, we explore drama students’ experiences with TRE and its use to promote personal welfare and professional performance. Focus group data was collected from twelve drama students and subjected to a thematic analysis. Three central themes emerged from the data material; (1) increased self-awareness of body and mind, 2) skills performance under pressure and (3) increased ability to create a character. We conclude that TRE is a useful tool in eliminating emotional tension and in sharpening the awareness of self as an individual and of one's own being, actions or thoughts, so increasing focus and energy in Method Acting.