The Alchemical Actor


Author: Jane Gilmer
The Alchemical Actor offers an imagination for new and future theatre inspired by the manifesto of Antonin Artaud. The alchemical four elements – earth, water, air and fire and the four alchemical stages – nigredo, albedo, citrino and rubedo serve as initiatory steps towards the performance of transmutational consciousness. The depth psychological work of Carl G. Jung, the theatre techniques of Michael Chekhov and Rudolf Steiner infuse ‘this’ Great Work. Jane Gilmer leads the reader through alchemical imaginations beyond material cognition towards gold-making heart-thinking - key to new and future theatre.

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Jane Gilmer, Ph.D. (2000), Murdoch University, Western Australia, works freelance specialising in training actors, and writing, including ‘Michael Chekhov’s Imagination of the Creative Word and the question of its integration into his future theatre’ (Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 2013). Her current solo performance is Prospero’s Tempest: A meditation in Action.
Prologue: Imagining Alchemical Theatre
Prelude: Performing the Great Work

1 Artaud’s Alchemical Theatre: Earth and the Nigredo
 1 Double
 2 Cruelty
 3 Poetics
 4 Symbols
 5 Theatre Languages
 6 Myths
 7 Gnosticism
 8 Sacred Dramas of Eleusis
 9 Gesture i
 10 Actor and Director

2 Alchemical Imaginatio: Water and the Albedo
 1 Prima Materia
 2 Philosopher’s Stone
 3 Individuation
 4 Mysterium Conunctionis
 5 Four Elements
 6 Alchemical Stages
  6.1  Calcination
  6.2  Dissolution
  6.3  Separation
  6.4  Coniunction
  6.5  Fermentation
  6.6  Distillation
  6.7  Coagulation

 7 Three Forces
  7.1  Salt
  7.2  Sulphur
  7.3  Mercury
  8 Star Body
  9 Planets and Metals

3 Alchemical Actor: Air and the Citrino
 1 Elemental Mandala
 2 Laboratory
 3 Artists of Fire
 4 Practice
 5 Gesture ii
 6 Alchemy is Meditation
 7 Creative Imagination
 8 Dreams
 9 Consciousness
 10 Creative Word
 11 Mandala Stage
 12 Heart Thinking
 13 Initiation Drama

4 Alchemical Magnum Opus: Fire and the Rubedo
 1 Prospero’s Tempest

5 Dance of the Elements: Quintessence

Epilogue: Performing the Great Work

 The Emerald Tablet

Anyone interested in theatre practice as a path of Trans-form-ation.