Anne Whitaker

Actor, Teaching Artist

New York, Los Angeles, London


As Antonin Artaud reminds us in The Theater and its Double, “the actor is the athlete of the heart.” Antonin’s brutal theater is not what inspires me, but rather the athleticism. He gets at the crux of what makes acting thrilling. It is uncomfortable to be stretched to the limits of vulnerability, making those dense and private moments visible and public. As a young actor, my goal is to stretch and build those muscles, so I can become the true athlete of the heart.

To be vulnerable every time is a fascinating and transcending experience. It is like being a small child again, experiencing everything for the first time. My strengths as an actor most definitely lie in this transient communication. Listening and then expressing through voice and gesture work is my strong suit. 

In studying linguistics at the University of California, San Diego I became obsessed with phonetics. How words become sound waves that literally hit another person as they hear it. These subtle vibrations are taken for granted in our daily lives, but we respond to them all the time. The way a person sounds can be: seductive, annoying, or repulsive. It creates a physical response because it is both a physical and intellectual phenomenon. This blending of the physical and intellectual is for me where my heart lies. The heart is something that we’ve tried to define for ages. We try to reason it away with physiological explanations of chemicals and intellect. For me these answers never truly satisfy and I don’t think they do for most people. It’s why we keep watching stories. Stories that have been told over and over again, but each time we watch thinking “maybe this time it will get at the heart of what I’m experiencing.” 

This vulnerability cannot be defined by the physical body or the intellectual mind, it is the illusive heart or soul. It is a transient and untouchable phenomenon. It is theater.


                                                 -Anne Whitaker