As part of our initial activities here at CASL, we are very interested in responses to a number of questions important -in our view – for the theme of Second Language Actors/Performers.


Why would an actor/performer want to perform in a non-native language?

One response to “Discussion”

  1. Antonio Fernández-Ortiz Avatar
    Antonio Fernández-Ortiz

    I believe performing uses many forms of expressing oneself, one of which is language. Inherent to being foreign is the telling of a story which is truer and more real with a back story which relies on the origin of the actor. Rousseau wrote “To pride ourselves on having no accent is to pride ourselves on ridding our phrases of strength and elegance”.
    In a time of authenticity in performing, the truthfulness and genuineness that transpires from second language (talented) actors are extra flavours to any performance. This is not to say native acting is to be discarded, only that it can enriched by foreign performers who use a different medium and come from a different place. Same could go, for silent performers, physical theatre…and in this field no difference can be made between native and foreign.
    In essence, an actor is justified to perform in a non-native language to provide subtext to any performance without lingering on explanations which become evident in the speech of spoken performances. It is particularly useful when text must not be spoilt by references to a foreign nature and, at the same time, this is an important element of the play.

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