Authorial Acting


Authorial Acting

Authorial Acting Program

Studies in Authorial Acting at the Department of Authorial Creation and Pedagogy:

– A 2 year English Language MA Program in Authorial Acting

– Short Term Studies are also available, with no degree requirements (minimum 4 classes)


We Are Currently Accepting Applications for Academic Year 2016/17.


The Authorial Acting Program at DAMU comes out of the humanist and dialogical traditions. It views performance first and foremost as creative public behavior. We cultivate creativity of body, voice, and mind in real-time by exploring acting through the lenses of different disciplines – this includes theatre performance. However, students are encouraged to go beyond traditional forms of theatre, crossing boundaries and drawing on personal experiences in fields like education, social work and psychology.


Studies: Authorial Acting students are guided towards becoming creative personalities – capable of making and standing by their own authorial solo and group work based on their own personal themes. Students grow psychosomatically and gain experience in key areas of human expression: voice, speech, movement, acting, writing, and (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner, but also in philosophy, psychology and theater history. Studies take the form of weekly studio and lecture classes supplemented with intensive workshops with accomplished pedagogues, theoreticians, and artists from our department, the Czech Republic, Europe, and beyond.


The Authorial Acting program centers on practical and theoretical explorations of the following questions:

What are authorship and creativity and what does it mean to be an author, a creator?

How does one discover and cultivate personal themes?

How can I / we share these themes in a performance situation, with the self fully and authentically present?

What sort of psychosomatic fitness does that require – and how can I study and develop it?

What is the social, political, and pedagogical significance of our work?


Students pursue multidisciplinary studies, both practical and theoretical, rooted in a psychosomatic (psycho-physical) understanding of the individual (e.g., Stanislavski, M. Chekhov, Brook, Donnellan, Vyskočil, Zarrilli) and a philosophical foundation rooted in humanism, personalism, and the dialogical self (e.g., Buber, Jung, Frankl, Fromm, Hermans).

Subjects studied include: (Inter)acting with the Inner Partner (a unique Czech, holistic, psychosomatic, and self-dialogical improvisation discipline by Ivan Vyskočil); Authorial Reading (students writing and reading aloud their authorial texts); Authorial Creation (theory and practice of devising solo and group theater pieces); Movement (foundational psychosomatics, movement theatre principles, Viewpoints, contemporary techniques); Authorial Acting (principles of authorial acting, creating solo performances, transforming personal themes into stage pictures); Voice and Speech; History of Theater and Authorial Arts; Dramatic Text Analysis; Philosophy and Psychology as they relate to authorial creation.

Key Outcomes: Over the course of their studies, students deepen their understanding of their personal themes and learn how to express them in performance situations. The program nurtures and develops their expressive (psychosomatic) capabilities. They also deeply absorb the ethics of authorial creation.

At graduation, students are able to create a text outline of a 45-minute authorial performance and know how to structure its stage form. They understand and can explain the authorial aspects of acting in the context of European culture, and understand the basic philosophical, anthropological and psychological aspects of authorship. Students will also be able to understand and explain the principles of using theatrical approaches in non-artistic spheres.

After studies: Because our goal is to cultivate self-confident, creative personalities, graduates’ profiles and employment tends to be very diverse. Frequently they work as authors / creators of their own projects of a theatrical, visual, literary, or other nature; some find work in media. Graduates also often work in a variety of pedagogical professions, from youth theaters to universities – often teaching psychosomatic disciplines. Some continue their studies in arts practice based PhD Programs.


History: The Department of Authorial Creation and Pedagogy at DAMU was founded by Professor Ivan Vyskočil, renowned actor, writer, psychologist, performer and educator, a prominent figure in Czech absurd and small-forms theatre of the 1960s.


Admissions Schedule: Applications are due in two rounds, the first on March 11, 2016 and the second on June 13, 2016. Interviews / Auditions will be held at DAMU in Prague on April 13, 2016 and June 22, 2016. Applicants will be notified by the end of April (first round) and by mid July (second round) of their status. The academic year starts on October 1, 2016. School fees must be paid in full for the first semester by October 30, 2016.


Assessment During the Program: Students are assessed regularly throughout the two-year program, primarily through evaluations of written and studio work. If during the course of their studies students are not keeping up to the standards expected, they may be dismissed from the program.  Students must complete a final performance and written thesis in order to graduate. They must also defend this work in a final oral defense of the thesis. They are also required to take final theoretical oral examinations. Students may take an additional year to prepare and present their final performance and write their thesis if they have fulfilled all other graduation requirements.


For more information contact:

Marianna Kozak, Authorial Acting Program Secretary:


Prague Summer Theatre School (PSTS) provides theatre students and practitioners with a diverse, hands-on immersion in the theatre principles and practices, including in authorial acting. PSTS is an excellent way for non-Czech speaking students to acquaint themselves with DAMU, especially for those who may be interested in applying to its Erasmus program and/or the master's programs in English and others.