Students Staff

11 December 2018

New research posts at East 15: Dr Christina Kapadocha

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 4:49 pm

New research centred posts have been created at the East 15 Acting School, as part of a team led by Director of Research and Head of Creative Producing Professor Rosie Klich.

Rosie said: “Our new research staff champion both practice-as-research and more traditional research methods. Key areas of research in the school currently include vocal training and movement training for actors and immersive, participatory and feminist performance. As our East 15 research team develops we are keen to continue building relationships with departments across the university and work with industry partners to produce interdisciplinary, public-facing projects that promote socially engaged, conceptually challenging, and highly experimental arts research.

Here we meet Dr Christina Kapadocha, Lecturer in Theatre and Movement, East 15 Acting School at the Loughton Campus.

Dr Christina Kapadocha

What does your role involve?

My current role develops upon my activities as a member of the Movement and Research Departments at East 15 Acting School.

As a member of the Movement  department my teaching focuses on somatic movement for actors by integrating my experience as an actress (Dip. GNT Drama School, MA East 15), somatic movement educator (Dip. IBMT/BMC®, RSME) and researcher (PhD). Through this role, I also teach Animal Study (towards character study and devising), facilitate the shaping of students’ original monologues and processes of embodiment in performances.

As a member of the Research department I shape my current practice-research projects within the school’s emerging research community. My present research concentrates on the application, modification and impact of somatically-inspired practices into theatre-performing environments and beyond. I am also in the supervisory panel for a PhD on drama teaching and actor training in HE within the university’s Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies department.

What did you do before?

I am a London-based actress, educator/director and researcher. I started my career in theatre as a stage actress in Greece, including productions at the National Theatre of Greece and the Athens Festival.  In 2010 I received a full-time scholarship from the Greek State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) to advance my theatre studies in the UK. I completed my postgraduate degree in acting at East 15 Acting School (MA Acting International) and a Practice-as-Research PhD on actor-training pedagogies at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (additionally supported by Elsie Fogerty Research Degree Studentship).

As part of my PhD and my parallel professional development as somatic movement educator, I critically investigated the development of my own new somatically-inspired actor-training pedagogy, introduced as Somatic Acting Process® (SAP®). Through this process, I started teaching my original practice and related subjects in major London-based drama schools and independent contexts. Prior to my full-time appointment at East 15, I have also taught in other conservatoires such as RCSSD, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Rose Bruford College. My latest theatre and performance experience focuses on various research-based projects and collaborations.

Are you working on any particular projects?

I am presently working on two main projects:

  • Somatic Voices in Performance Research and Beyond (2020), a volume that I edit and write and will be published by Routledge Voice Studies Series. The project, for which I have been awarded a PVC-Research Strategic Fund, introduces the new fields of Somatic Voice Studies and Somatic Voice Analysis. Combining written discussions with practical material, the development of a new international network and knowledge exchange activities, Somatic Voices advance current perspectives on voice through somatically-informed praxical methodologies.
  • Reflections on the 1st international ‘Somatic in Theatre and Performance Research Gathering’ that I organised and took place in Corfu, Greece (23-26 August 2018). The reflexive outcomes explore the integration between written and visual material towards the dissemination of the project. Emergent critical themes include a. revisions on experiencing communities through somatic attention b. new modes of documenting practice-research process and their significance.

What are you looking forward to most in your research role?

What I am most looking forward to in my new role, is to further challenge traditional divisions between formal research methodologies and theatre practices within both my teaching and research. As an artist, researcher and educator with an ongoing conservatoire experience, I wish to advocate the significance of how conservatoire-originated practices can advance current research methodologies and inform urgent discussions within and beyond performance environments. I do believe that dynamic interrelations between theatre practices and other disciplines, practices and theories, diverse experiences and reflection, can open up further opportunities for the students at East 15 as critically-aware artists, creators and practitioners.

What do you think of the atmosphere at East 15?

As an East 15 graduate myself and member of staff since 2014, I deeply appreciate the sense of community at school. This is a community that nourishes not isolated individuals but unique actor-creators who know well that acting and directing, in any form and context, are innately group processes.

Read about fellow researcher Dr Tara McAllister-Viel and Professor Rosie Klich.

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