Soon after graduating from Drama Centre, where she trained as an actor, Dr Aphrodite Evangelatou discovered her passion for teaching and actor training. After working as an actor for a short time both in her home country and the UK, Aphrodite returned to London to systematically research the craft of the actor through a practice-based PhD research project. During that time, she also attended workshops throughout Europe (Italy, Poland, Greece, UK, and Denmark) to deepen her knowledge of the craft. Aphrodite’s prior training as a classical actor helped her to see the less conventional acting approaches she was later investigating through a different lens. Her teaching practice focuses on transferring her knowledge that comes from physical theatre into more conventional forms of acting. The training tools and rehearsal strategies Aphrodite introduces the students to therefore encourage artistic flexibility while preparing them for a wide range of performance genres and future collaborators.
- PhD in Actor Training, Goldsmiths, University of London.
- PGCert in the Management of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Goldsmiths, University of London.
- MA in European Classical Acting, Drama Centre London, CSM, University of the Arts London.
- BA in Acting, Delos Drama School of Athens, Greece.
- BA in Theatre Studies, University of Peloponnese, Greece.
Aphrodite joined the Theatre and Performance Department at Goldsmiths as an Associate Lecturer in 2013. Since then she has contributed to the teaching of most practical modules for the Drama and Theatre Arts degree, namely Theatre Making 1, Processes of Performance, Theatre Making 2, Questions of Performance, and Theatre Making 3.
Aphrodite’s teaching practice focuses on acting and devising, while her teaching methodology draws inspiration from a wide range of practitioners, including Constantin Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Sanford Meisner, Tadashi Suzuki, and Jerzy Grotowski.
Also, Aphrodite is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and committed to questions of pedagogy. Reflecting on her teaching practice and wishing to achieve a better understanding of why an acting exercise or approach works, Aphrodite discovered that the question of pedagogy is of crucial importance to ensure inclusivity and to maximise the impact of the training.
One of the key elements of her approach to actor training is the emphasis on ‘togetherness’ which—among other benefits—encourages student-actors to not only focus on their own process but ensure they contribute to the learning of others; this helps them become better actors themselves.
Scholarships and Awards
Full scholarship from the Greek State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) 2010-2014
Aphrodite’s practice-based PhD research searched for ways to help actors access emotion on stage and in rehearsal/training, using the body as a starting point. The method she developed as a result is a safe, inclusive and accessible psychophysical approach that aims to awaken the actor’s emotional expressivity through movement, breath, and rhythm/musicality.
Aphrodite’s research also focuses on the question of acting pedagogy. In addition to identifying particular ‘lures’ for emotional activation, such as working with musicality and breath, her research indicates that the pedagogue’s role is crucial for the activation of emotion. Challenging the politics of power in classroom and/or rehearsal and the hierarchical relationship between teacher and student, her practice-based research highlights the importance of qualities such as warmth and care, as well as their role in actively encouraging the creation of a positive and safe learning environment, where the trainer can function as an enabler. Aphrodite’s research finally addresses the importance of pleasure in the training process and proposes ways to achieve this through examining Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Flow.
Areas of supervision
Greek tragedy, actor training, physical theatre, acting pedagogies, practice-based research.
Conference or Workshop Item