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Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


Dr. David Kahn


Acting Without Agony: An Alternative to the Method, Actor Training, Don Richardson, General Education, Group Theatre, University Curricula

Subject Areas

Performing arts education; Performing arts; Higher education


This thesis examines Don Richardson's book Acting Without Agony: An Alternative to the Method. The goal of this research was to approach the text from a pedagogical perspective. It sought to examine whether Richardson's approach is appropriate for a program that integrates both beginning actors and non-actors. I tested this research in my Theatre Arts 5 Acting classes at San José State University. Theatre Arts 5 was an acting class functioning as foundational training for the student actor while fulfilling a general education requirement for the non-actor. This research used a foundational approach, introducing Richardson and exploring his technique. Then it explored the variables that defined the Theatre Arts 5 curriculum. The findings of this study suggest that Richardson's technique does not provide the necessary foundational training for the beginning actor in Theatre Arts 5. In addition, Richardson's approach does not meet the academic standards for Theatre Arts 5. While components of Richardson's technique may be useful, the requirements of the Theatre Arts 5 class do not allow for the exclusive use of his technique.