Basics of the SAVI System
of Singer-Actor Training

created by Charles Gilbert
Professor of Theater Arts and Head of Musical Theater
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia

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SAVI Talk - a framework of concepts for thinking about, describing and evaluating singing acting

SAVI Etudes - exercises for developing singing acting technique, specific skills which can be identified and refined independent of any specific repertoire

SAVI Songs - the application of SAVI concepts and techniques on specific musical theater repertoire


Axiom 1. The singing actor creates behavior that communicates the dramatic event phrase by phrase.

“Realism entails a search for selected behavior pertinent to the character’s needs within the prescribed circumstances of the dramatist.” Uta Hagen, A Challenge for the Actor

Axiom 2. A song is not a single entity but a series of events, each of which offers the singing actor specific opportunities to create behavior.

Axiom 3. The relationship between behavior and emotion is co-axial.

Axiom 4. The artificial can become natural through repetition and persistent practice.

Axiom 5. The best singing-acting has the qualities of Specificity, Authenticity, Variety and Intensity (S+A+V+I=SAVI).

All components of the SAVI System of Singer-Actor Training © Charles Gilbert 2003-5