SYSTEMS is a mnemonic device for the six elements of Overlie's viewpoints (the actual acronym is spelled SSTEMS: Space, Shape, Time, Emotion, Movement, and Story,) and also signifies which elements Mary Overlie considered the most important. Note the change from the classical and modern periods in performance art, where story always took precedence over the other elements. Viewpoints is part of the post-modern tradition, in that there is no hierarchy in the different elements that make "theatre."

All of the different elements influence each other and work together, and can "cause" a change in a different element. For example, the shape of your body may carry a certain emotion with it as well - something in the space of your environment may make a story out of what you are doing - etc.

The actors must focus first on the isolation of each separate viewpoint element on its own, before integrating and working them all together. It's often that a performer finds one of the elements comes naturally, and perhaps uses that one element they really understand to access the other elements, which they must work to become more familiar with.

The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and.

The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and.

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