The process, development, and synthesis of Paul Baker's "Integration of Abilities"



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Texas Tech University


The life and work of Dr. Paul Baker has greatly influenced and been of great value and interest to the theatrical community, especially in Texas. His Integration of Abilities philosophy and methodology serves as a course of study and as a creative process. The Integration of Abilities philosophy and methodology is detailed in his book Integration of Abilities: Exercises for Creative Growth (1972). The book stands as record of the Integration of Abilities theory and practice begun by Baker in the 1930's. The Integration of Abilities serves as the basis for all creative work by Baker and by his students and professionals under his supervision.

The core of his process is an exploration of the elements of form: space, movement, line, color, sound/silence, rhythm, silhouette, shape, and texture. The elements of form serve as a connecting force for Baker's Integration of Abilities and are referred to and used as a common language. The primary goal of the Baker method is to enhance individual creativity.

This dissertation examines Baker's philosophy and methods, as well as, books, articles, theses, and dissertations reflecting the integration of Baker's approach with other ideas, or which use his methods in creative work. Topics surveyed include children's/teen theater, acting, directing, design, and architecture. Directing individuals toward self-discovery and expression of creativity is the essence of Paul Baker's life work, and this dissertation will examine the fruit of that work and how it continues to flourish.

This study holds a unique position within the existing body of knowledge discussing Baker's philosophy/methodology in that it is a history and a summary of previous works and processes. No previous document has addressed Baker's work and influence in this manner.



Theater, Baker, Paul, 1911- Integration of abilities, Baker, Paul, 1911- -- Teachings, Baker, Paul, 1911- -- Criticism and interpretation, Theater -- Study and teaching -- Philosophy, Theater -- Study and teaching -- Methods