Skip main navigation

Take the stage: physical actor training from the experts

Have you ever been tempted to try out some of the techniques used by international theatre practitioners? Watch Professor Jonathan Pitches from the University of Leeds discuss what it takes to make the stage.

In a free and ground breaking online course, performer training specialist and lead educator Prof Jonathan Pitches, is going to be testing the boundaries of what is achievable in the massive open online course, ‘An introduction to physical actor training’, revealing some of the secrets of the great theatre trainers of the 20th century.

A slap to the face?

Using animation and short video tutorials, Prof Pitches will introduce online students to the techniques of theatre biomechanics, taking the comic study or étude, the slap, as a playful example of the training.

Surprised at the approach? Could you do this exercise?

Find out more about how this étude relates to the history of actor training and to the Russian revolution. Join specialist theatre practitioner and historian Prof Jonathan Pitches on a journey of discovery into theatre training and its fascinating, and sometimes troubled, histories. You will get a taste of the kinds of exercises Russian actors were doing in the 1920s, share your own experiences of these exercises with students from all over the world and see experts debate the place of actor training today.

A unique course

The course has been designed by specialists in the field of 20th century and 21st century theatre training, working at one of the largest centres of Theatre degree study in the UK. It aims to give a practical feeling of techniques otherwise confined to the studio and will embed these discoveries in rigorous theatre history.

Course highlights include:

  • A historical introduction to key 20th century practitioners including Stanislavsky and Meyerhold
  • Video animations introducing specific actions from the training
  • A space to upload your own reflections and experience of the training, and to discuss them with others
  • A filmed panel of experts gathered to debate the currency of actor training today

This course is designed for anyone that’s interested in theatre practice and its place in history. The course starts on Monday, but you can still sign up. So, why not invite your friends and family to join you and register now?

Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now