Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes

Second Advisor

Aaron Anderson

Third Advisor

David Leong


The aim of this paper is to illuminate how the principles of the Alexander Technique and the role of bodily systems can serve as a foundational support for actor training. Inclusion of the Alexander Technique in the acting curriculum proves to be an effective tool for bridging the gap between kinesthetic learning and its application to beginning acting training. Starting with the nervous system, the operating principles of the Alexander Technique are discussed through research and personal insights. Next, in light of how self-discovery plays a key role in the first year of actor training, the idea of release in the neuromuscular system is explored as a way to support that process. Delving further into the actor’s process of character development, the efficient use of the skeletal system and the spine specifically is examined as the center of physical expression. Lastly, the breath and proper use of the respiratory system is discussed in relation to how it aids actors in making connected use of themselves. The outcome of this thesis through research, my personal journey as a teacher trainee of the Alexander Technique and observations and feedback though conducting workshops, elucidates the importance of creating harmony and release within the whole mechanism as a means of facilitating full expression, of mind, body and spirit, in the actor.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2012