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Through her new text, Acting & Being, Hess offers a hybrid approach, which  embodies behavioral,  physiological and psychological ‘states of being’ --  unlocking impulses, experience and imagination to generate transformative, empathetic and expansive artistic expression.

                                 “Elizabeth Hess’ book, ‘Acting & Being’, is what every actor needs to navigate                                                           the unknown and “play dangerously”. It offers a clear and comprehensive                                                                             guide for unlocking barriers and unleashing creative potential. Her genius lies                                                                      in helping actors connect to the power of language and their physical                                                                                 instruments. This book will also help emerging actors find that power and tap into                                                   other ‘states of being’ that they didn’t think were possible.”

                   Jeff Janisheski, Head of Acting, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

      “Elizabeth Hess’ approach invites the actor through real play to awaken and invigorate the physical life of characters. I have seen her work provide the platform for fearless performances full of grace and discovery.”

Rachel Jett, Artistic Director, National Theater Institute (NTI), Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

“Elizabeth’s process as both artist and teacher has evolved into a unique practice that reflects her physical aliveness, emotional openness and inquiring mind. She integrates existing physical theater modalities into a hybrid approach that also lends itself to multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration.”

Helen Cook, Director Emerita, New York University (NYU), Tisch School of the Arts, Playwrights Horizons Theater School


In Acting & Being: Explorations in Embodied Performance, educator-actor-playwright -director Elizabeth Hess offers systematic and original explorations in performance technique. This hybrid approach is a fusion of physical theater modalities culled from Western practices (Psycho-physical actions, Viewpoints) Eastern practices (Butoh, Kundalini yoga) and related performance disciplines (Mask, Puppetry). Behavioral, physiological and psychological ‘states of being’ are engaged to unlock impulses, access experience and enlarge the imagination. Through individual, partnered and collective explorations, actors uncover a character’s essence and level of consciousness, their energy center and body language, and their archetype and relationship to universal themes. Magic (to pretend, as if), Metaphor (to compare, as like) and Myth (to pattern after, as in) provide the foundation for generating transformative, empathetic and expansive artistic expression. Explorations can be adapted to character work, scene study and production, including original/devised work and established text, to illuminate singular and surprising work through collaborative creativity that is inventive, inclusive and alive. 



Elizabeth Hess is an educator, actor, playwright and director who has taught acting principally at New York University (NYU), Fordham University and the National Theater Institute (NTI), and internationally in master classes and workshops. She has performed extensively in NYC, regional theater, TV, indie films, and her award-winning solo works have travelled the globe. 

Hess, Elizabeth, ACTING & BEING: Explorations in Embodied Performance, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2017


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