A neurological approach to acting

People with disabilities are endowed with abilities and strengths which can be used to produce a competent socio-cultural result in an artistic field.

Our aim is to built the suitable background, integrating medical and acting sources for the training, production and staging of high-quality theater performances, towards the full acceptance of people with disabilities as an embedded part in performing arts.

We want to keep challenging the limits of the world and never lose faith in the so called ‘impossible’.

To make a voluntary movement a signal must be given back from the motor cortex and the brainstem of the brain to the motor neurons. A dysfunction in ‘sending’ that signal through the motor neurons to muscles, lead to no movement. But the movement as an intention is already there‘.

‘The understanding of the senses can help people regulate the intensity of the feelings and determines positively the cure of trauma’.


A neurological approach to acting

‘A neurological approach to acting’ is the result of a neurological research Annita Capousizi contacted as a Fulbright Artist Scholar 2016-2017 in the United States.

The research is based on 7 main acting principles (relaxation, concentration, action, emotional recall, circumstances, tempo-rhythm, and fantasy) and the neurological observation of the physiology of actors with and without disabilities practicing them.

Its focus is on the neurobiological function of our body and the mindfulness we can have over it on stage, aiming in an integrated educational and artistic environment for both people with and without disabilities.

It is divided in 2 parts:

1st  part: Theory

We examine the history of acting. How these principles were introduced, developed and applied during times and through different approaches and teachers and systems.

At the same time we dive into the main principles of neurology and physiology of how our bodies function.

We gain a holistic view of our body and we detect the characteristics that our bodies take applying these acting principles. We understand that concepts that in our minds were vague and insecurely applied without any firm results for their application on our bodies start taking a shape and become an accessible and visualized information that we can use and therefore control.

2nd part-Practice

Then we take these information and we apply them using acting exercises designed through neurological research as well as neurodiagnostic exercises adapted to the acting approach. That way we form a syllabus based on a method that covers the theoretical background as well as the practical application of it as part of the education background of the actors in terms of training and staging performances.


Our aim

A method is based on the main principles of doubt, perception out of experience, resulting, analysis and synthesis.

Starting from that point and targeting to a better and more suitable approach of acting for people with neurological and neuromuscular disorders, Annita Capousizi turned her interest to neurological observation and research as the starting base of an inclusive acting method.

The primary aim, through the neurological approach to acting, is to get the people  be familiar with the inclusive education and the holistic theater approach mindset by providing them with the necessary educational background to welcome to their schools, workshops and working space artists and actors with mobility disabilities.

‘Working both with actors with and without disabilities in the professional theater as, in ARTimeleia we always stage integrated performances, it was enlighten for me to watch the actors with no disabilities the first day that joined our group. It was always so clear how much they don’t know about disabilities, how immediately the social impact affects them on feeling more protective or even pity for the disabled actors and how much they changed during the training and the rehearsals. Every actor that comes to join ARTimeleia works with our group on the terms of the ‘neurological approach to acting’. Once they have all achieved the necessary perception of bodies and characters, we then continue having left behind all the social boundaries that keep you ‘politically correct’ far from touching a disabled body. And there starts the sharing and acting.’

Annita Capousizi, director