Whoever penned the adage “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” certainly didn’t have Eric Zivot in mind. Zivot has enjoyed a fruitful career as an actor, teacher, and director. You may recognize him from his turn as Mercutio in OSF's recent production of Twelfth Night. He also works as an Assistant Professor at Rollins College. In February, he will direct All My Sons for the Annie Russell Theatre.
With his parents' encouragement, Zivot attended the Manitoba Theatre School, at age six. After receiving an MFA from American Conservatory Theater, Zivot served as a member of Stratford Festival of Canada and Head of Voice and Speech at University of Washington, Seattle and American Conservatory Theater. His screen credits include JAG, Babylon 5, and Sunset Beach.
He also developed his own actor training methodology, the Triune Brain Method. "The Triune Brain Method teaches actors to construct different layers of human behavior specific to each developmental stage of the brain," explains Zivot. "Once actors learn to do this, they are able to develop very specific characters quickly."
After running his own school in Los Angeles, Gymnasia Theatrica, for 10 years, he brings his innovative technique to Rollins. In addition, Zivot includes his students in many of his off-campus projects. "Everything about a production can be a quality learning experience and seeing their teacher actually doing the things he yells about in class makes the lessons very real for students," he explains
As a director, Zivot favors text over method, "Words are amazing to me and so are the writers that pick the words. At the first rehearsal for any show I have directed, I tell my cast, 'There was a creative person in this process before any of us show up.'"
His upcoming production of All My Sons may not be a sugar-coated examination of the American Dream. "As an immigrant and newly-minted U.S. citizen, I have a different perspective on the 'American Dream.'" He continues, "Audiences should not expect a gentle production in memory of Arthur Miller. I'll follow his text wherever it leads. Great writing deserves no less."
originally published in the January-February 2006 issue of Orlando Arts magazine.
Content on this site was originally written by Katharine Miller between 2000-2015. Many feature articles and interviews were published in print and on websites that no longer exist. Katharine is reproducing her written material here for portfolio and archival purposes only. Links and credits to clients and original publication will be included where possible.