Act like you mean it

Article, 02.06.2015

Authenticity of emotion: lectureperformance on acting and the brain based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

Act like you mean it invitation
Act like you mean it invitation ©EDA

The Mission of Switzerland to the European Union is proud to present the exciting science & art project Act like you mean it, a fiveact “lecture-performance” in which researchers explore the secrets of love, both in real life and on the stage.

We have all experienced being deeply touched by the actors and actresses while watching a play, but how do they convey such complex feelings? And do they really “love” or “hate” their partners that much while acting, or do they merely pretend? Arts and sciences have a long tradition of quarreling over such questions like ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ acting, emotional identification or distant simulation. Using modern techniques of imaging brain activity, a joint research program Authenticity of Emotion has been carried out to examine whether topclass actors use emotions in their performances.

The project team of ‘Act like you mean it’ consists of two Swiss researchers: a neurologist, Thomas Grunwald from the Swiss Epilepsy Centre in Zurich and a dramaturge Anton Rey, from the Institute of Performing Arts and Film at Zurich University of the Arts.

Illustrated by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet balcony scene, research leaders Anton Rey and Thomas Grunwald present their findings in a part scientific lecture, part performance in five acts. They are assisted by two young Swiss professional actors – Ms Annina Euling and Mr Jan Beller, both from Zurich University of the Arts.

Invitation (PDF, Number of pages 3, 331.7 kB)