Actor Training Paradigms: From Anthropological to Intercultural

ITI Symposium Poster

Actor Training Paradigms:
From Anthropological to Intercultural  
An Online Symposium

This symposium aims to explore the contrasts and continuities of the two actor training paradigms — between the Anthropological and the Intercultural — and to achieve a deeper understanding and knowledge through an exchange of ideas and discussion on this subject.

It will include live presentations and an interactive Q&A session on 29 November, featuring leading practitioners Eugenio Barba and Julia Varley from avant-garde theatre company, Odin Teatret (Denmark) together with core faculty members of ITI, Simon Stollery and Koh Wan Ching, moderated by researcher Cheng Nien Yuan

Attendees will also have access to two filmed work demonstrations on Theatre Anthropology and the Organic Effect, and Intercultural Actor Training that will be available on demand from 22 November onwards.



About the Speakers 


Eugenio Barba (Odin Teatret)

Eugenio Barba was born in 1936 in Italy and emigrated to Norway in 1954. He founded Odin Teatret in 1964, an avant-garde theatre group based in Denmark. During the past fifty-six years, Eugenio has directed 79 productions with Odin Teatret and with the intercultural Theatrum Mundi Ensemble. Since 1974, the group has devised their own way of being present in diverse social contexts through the practice of the "barter", an exchange of cultural expressions with a community or an institution, structured as a common performance. In 1979, Eugenio Barba founded ISTA, International School of Theatre Anthropology thus opening a new field of studies: Theatre Anthropology

He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Aarhus, Ayacucho, Bologna, Havana, Warsaw, Plymouth, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Tallin, Cluj, Edinburgh, Shanghai, Brno and Peloponnese as well as the Reconnaissance de mérite scientifique by the University of Montreal and the Sonning Prize by the University of Copenhagen. 


Julia Varley (Odin Teatret)

Julia Varley joined Odin Teatret in 1976 in Denmark as an actress in ensemble, solo, indoor, and street productions, all directed by Eugenio Barba. Julia Varley’s main activity is still today as an Odin Teatret actress. Since 1978, Julia Varley teaches in schools and universities, gives workshops, and follows theatre groups and artists all over the world. Since 1983, Julia Varley has participated in the conception and organisation of The Magdalena Project, a network of women in contemporary theatre. She is the artistic director of Transit International Festival, Holstebro, dedicated to themes of interest for women working in theatre. Julia organised the first Magdalena Project meetings in Holstebro in 1987, and the first Transit Festival in 1992. She is also the editor of The Open Page, a journal devoted to women's work in theatre.

Since 1990, Julia Varley has been involved in the conception and organisation of ISTA. In 2019 Julia Varley became artistic coordinator of Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium-Odin Teatret (NTL) organising its annual festival each January.


Simon Stollery (ITI) — Voice & Text

Simon is a vocational trainer of actors in the field of Voice and Speech with more than 2​0​ years of experience. He is a Certified Master Trainer of Estill Voice Training (EVT), an internationally recognised training qualification, and has a career track in the performing arts spanning ​26​ years — first as an actor, then as a specialist pedagogue in voice. Simon has taught at many of the major actor training organisations in Australia, among them the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia (NIDA), the Actors College of Theatre & Television (now AFTT) and the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art (now AIM).

Prior to ITI, he was the Lecturer for Voice and Speech at Adelaide College of the Arts (2009 – 2017). Simon has also served as a Voice and Dialect coach for the State Theatre Company of South Australia (STCSA) and the local film industry. In 2017, Simon was the resident Voice and Dialect coach for Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda the Musical, for the Adelaide and Auckland seasons.


Koh Wan Ching (ITI)  — Acting & Movement

Koh Wan Ching is a performer, theatre-maker, and acting teacher. She has worked with many companies including Drama Box, Hatch Theatrics, Nine Years Theatre and The Necessary Stage. Her acting credits include Night Just Before the Forests directed by Sinead Rushe for Dirks Theatre, presented at the Macao Arts Festival, and Immortal Sole choreographed by Edith Podesta.

Wan Ching's directing credits include precise purpose of being broken, independently produced at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, and co-direction for Tanah•Air 水•土: A Play In Two Parts, presented by Drama Box. She has trained with SITI Company as well as the Suzuki Company of Toga, and is a graduate of the inaugural SITI Conservatory Program for international theatre artists.

Wan Ching has also taught in institutions including Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of the Arts prior to joining the faculty in ITI.


Cheng Nien Yuan (Moderator)

Cheng Nien Yuan is a performance scholar, educator, and dramaturg. Nien completed her PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney in 2020. Her thesis, 'The Storytelling State: Performing Life Histories in Singapore' won the 2021 John Legge Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies.

She is currently a Researcher at the Intercultural Theatre Institute and an Honorary Associate of the School of Literature, Art and Media at Sydney University. Her current work centres around the intersections between storytelling, digital dramaturgy and interculturality in performance-making processes. Nien also lectures in Global Asian Studies at Singapore Management University. Her work has been published in Studies in Theatre and Performance, Performance Paradigm, and the Oral History Review among others. More on her work can be found here.





29 Nov 2021


3 PM (SGT, UTC +8)




29 Nov, 3 pm
> Zoom

22 – 29 Nov

Work Demonstrations by Odin Teatret & ITI
> Video on demand



Standard: $25 SGD ($18.5 USD) 
Concession: $15 SGD ($11 USD) for students, recent graduates and NSFs

Group discounts available. Please write to us at for more information.


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