What is Action Theater?
Action Theater is an improvisational physical theater training and performance method created by Ruth Zaporah.
The practice of Action Theater
incorporates the disciplined exploration of embodied exercises that lead to
increased skills of strong, clear, spontaneous, and artful communication.
Action Theater addresses and expands the vocabularies of expression
including: movement, vocalization, and speech. Action Theater is a tool to examines one’s
perceptive and responsive process, bringing awareness to and thereby disempowering distracting
thoughts of self obsessions, fears, judgments and analysis.
The exercises of Action Theater isolate the components of action – time, space, shape and energy
— so they can be examined, experienced, and altered in order to expand the expressive
palette. Students increase their ability to hold and express emotion, dance with their own poetry
and recover lost personal material. Composition, listening and relationship are deconstructed to be
reassembled with greater awareness. Acting from a sense of play, students are encouraged to
venture into transpersonal realms, accessing intelligence more encompassing
and boundless than their personal experience.
Awareness and play are fundamental to the practice, as both are portals to spontaneous imagination.
Within this orientation, the student is no longer bound by the conventional
interpretations of reality. They are free to roam throughout the grand spectrum of possibilities,
discovering who they are in the moment. Every exercise acts as a mirror, reflecting back to the
student their patterns and flights of freedom.
Action Theater is also a performance method, although many of the practitioners come from other
performance forms or walks of life. Fundamental to the practice of Action Theater is an embodied
presence in performance, where the experiencing of the body informs the content of the moment,
moment by moment. For example: how the hand, experiencing the hand, reaching for the glass is as
important as reaching for the glass in order to drink from it. Intention is created
simultaneously with action in the moment of performance. This awareness in
action invites the possibilities of freshness intrinsic to improvisational performance. The Action
Theater method offers a map, a way to proceed. The trainings are appropriate for the novice, the
explorer and the professional.