from the National Alliance of Acting Teachers


Welcome to Parodos, the journal of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers!

We take the journal’s name from the entrances used by the chorus in ancient Greek theatres. That’s what we want Parodos to be: an entry point. A place where ideas on theatre training can be presented, debated, tested and refined.

Our goal is simple — to support teachers of actors on their path to becoming the best facilitators they can be. In doing so, we hope to nurture the highest artistic and ethical standards of training actors.

We hope that in these pages you will find ideas that assist you, excite you, provoke and challenge you. We hope most of all that you will engage with them — and with us — as we continue this journey together.

Issue No. 1

Brandt Reiter, Editor
Abigail Killeen, Assistant Editor; Jenny Mercein, Patrick Mulryan, Copy Editors
Amy Herzberg, Hugh O’Gorman, National Alliance Co-Chairs
Alex Birnie, Managing Director

Failing Better: On the Joys of Stage-Fright and the Success of Failure

By Stephen Wangh


Countless actors believe that of the many thoughts and emotions continually coursing through them, fear is the one thing they must hide. The result is that they use a great deal of energy trying not to feel what they are feeling, and so this energy is not available for the acting work. But if, instead of trying to hide this fear, actors allow themselves to feel it and permit that energy to inhabit their bodies, they find that is workable, that they can use it to their benefit.

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The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique: A Versatile Approach to Actor Training for the 21st Century

By Hugh O’Gorman


Thanks to the liberating and holistic nature of Michael Chekhov’s acting technique, there is no one way to begin training, no rigid formula, or linear sequence to be followed religiously. It is the fluid essence of Chekhov’s approach that allows it to provide both a foundational training for beginning actors as well as a supplementary training boost for experienced, professional actors.

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Master Teacher Profile: William Esper

By Brandt Reiter


“One of those things that’s kept me with Meisner for so long … [is] what his work does. It’ll take you to Shakespeare. It’ll take you to Restoration. It’ll take you to avant-garde stuff … The work prepares the student to be any kind of actor. They can go anywhere with it. Because truth is truth, and an impulse is an impulse. I think that anybody is improved by the study of acting in the way we teach it.”

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Like All Others, Like No Other: Race and Ethnicity in Actor Training

By Roberto Alcaraz


When we’re talking about society, when we’re talking about the world we live in — and I have students from all sorts of backgrounds — when we’re telling stories, it’s messy. And when we talk about race and identity, it’s always going to be messy. Race as a social construct continues to be at the messy root of who this country is. It’s in the institutions; it’s in the philosophy of thinking; it’s in the very fibers of this country. We’re always going to find it in our society and we’re going to find it in our students when they walk into the classroom. And it’s a mistake to not address it.

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