Memorization and forgetting experiences of theater actors: A study on the relationship between memory and performance

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Kocabıyık, Y. (2024). Memorization and forgetting experiences of theater actors: A study on the relationship between memory and performance. JOURNAL OF ARTS, 7(1), 1–15.


In theatre, flawless stage performances are essential, and actors' memorization and forgetting experiences play a crucial role. This research investigates theater actors' experiences and perceptions of memorizing and forgetting their lines, examining the connection between these memory experiences and representation practices. Using a quantitative approach with surveys as the primary data collection method, the study focuses on actors participating in the 2022-2023 theater season in Turkey, with a sample size of 322 actors selected from this universe. The majority of actors think that the ability to memorize lines varies greatly between individuals. Differences of opinion exist among actors regarding the memorization of monologues and dialogues, with most actors finding dialogues more difficult to memorize. It is a common belief among actors that accumulated experience is associated with a reduced tendency to forget lines. During rehearsals, actors often use a variety of memorization techniques to minimize the risk of forgetting lines, believing that adequate rehearsal time reduces the likelihood of forgetting. Factors such as educational attainment, experience, age, and gender contribute to differences in actors' perspectives on the memorization and forgetting processes. Notably, actors with academic training from specialized academies tend to more readily embrace memorization techniques. Experience level is identified as a pivotal determinant in how actors evaluate their inclination to forget lines. Actors with limited experience tend to hold the belief that their propensity for forgetting lines will decrease with accumulating experience, while actors with five or more years of experience exhibit a more ambiguous stance on the matter.


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