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David Orzechowicz Receives PSA Graduate Student Paper Award

David Orzechowicz is the recipient of this year’s PSA Graduate Student Paper Award for his qualifying paper, title “Elite Emotion Managers: The Case of Novice and Semi-Professional Actors,” which will be presented to him at the annual PSA meeting this April in Oakland.
The paper considers the ways in which theatre provides a unique set of conditions for the management of emotions. Drawing on participant observation from three university and one repertory theatre production and interviews with stage actors, directors, and acting instructors, Orzechowicz conceptualize actors onstage as elite emotion managers. Their emotion management displays qualities of emotion work and emotional labor, which partially characterizes them as an elite case of feeling management. More importantly, however, actors can access structural resources designed to enable their ability to manage feelings onstage. Theatre’s division of labor, the rehearsal process, and actor training give actors important onstage advantages in managing emotions compared to many other social settings, and demonstrate structural recognition and support of feeling management. These resources not only outsource some of an actor’s emotion management, they also provide a set of institutionally proscribed strategies that actors use to manage feelings during a production. The case of stage actors draws our awareness to the conditions that enable feeling management, and provides new insights and discourse on how emotion management gets done in other settings.
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