The Intercultural and Psychophysical Pedagogy of Phillip Zarrilli

Abstract

Phillip Zarrilli is an acting teacher, based in the United Kingdom, who incorporates the Asian disciplines of kalarippayattu, hatha yoga, and t’ai chi ch’uan in his complex training methodology. His pedagogy would be best labeled as “psychophysical,” based on his intercultural influences and a prevalent understanding in the theatre community of psychophysical performance and pedagogy.
Those who have contributed most to his knowledge of Asian movement disciplines are his kalarippayattu teachers: Gurukkal Govindankutty Nayar, C. Mohammed Sherif, Sreejayan Gurukkal, Mohamedunni Gurukkal, and Raju Asan; his hatha yoga teachers: Chandran Gurukkal and Dhayanidhi; and his t’ai chi chuan teacher: A.C. Scott, the latter being the only Westerner among these masters.
Constantin Stanislavski, Jerzy Grotowski, and Eugenio Barba are three other figures in Western theatre who have influenced Zarrilli. All are disparate in background and method, but with traditions that interact and intersect. These men are significant in an analysis of Zarrilli’s interculturalism because of their distinct attractions to, and integrations of, Asian disciplines and theatre influences in their respective pedagogies. These, in turn, have been uniquely melded into Zarrilli’s training philosophy.
This paper highlights Zarrilli’s origins, education, pedagogy, influences, students, and perceived/potential legacy, based on his intercultural development as an artist and teacher. Information was gathered through interviews, personal observation, on-site participation, and literature. This paper, in sum, provides answers to the legacy of psychophysical acting from an intercultural perspective, as it resonates with Phillip Zarrilli’s past, present, and projected future.



Author Information
Lori Lee Wallace, Pacific Lutheran University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2013
Stream: Arts & Humanities

This paper is part of the ACAH2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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