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Theater, Film, and Television

Acting

complex games, Mimicry, television production, social skills, imitation

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Acting, the representation of a character on stage, in a motion picture, or in a television production. Acting is a formalization of play. Its symbol-making process predates writing and is thought to be a universal cultural phenomenon. Most societies have designated special times and places where make-believe activities are presented before spectators. The performers who entertain the audience by transforming themselves into human, animal, or divine characters are called actors.

The impulse to act appears to be instinctive in humans. It is related to the natural development of the imagination and of social skills in children. Mimicry, disguise, imitation, fantasy, and transformation are the sources of most play activity and complex games. Learning to pretend and mastering different roles allow children to find their place in the family and among their peers.

Contributors

Gordon, Mel, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Professor of Dramatic Arts, University of California, Berkley.



Article key phrases:

complex games, Mimicry, television production, social skills, imitation, animal, fantasy, stage, family, place, actors, writing, imagination, transformation, Learning, children, audience, representation, activities, Acting, places, societies, motion picture, sources of

 
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