Used to teach beginning acting on more campuses than any other text, Acting One covers the basic elements of realistic acting in twenty-eight lessons – all based on experiential exercises. The text covers basic skills such as talking, listening, tactical interplay, physicalizing, building scenes, and making good choices.
ROBERT COHEN was the founding chair Drama at the University of California at Irvine, where he continues to serve as the department's Claire Trevor Professor of Drama. He has also been a resident acting teacher at the Actors Center in New York, the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the Korean National Arts University, and the national theatre academies of Hungary, Finland, and Estonia. He is an accomplished stage director, scholar, playwright, drama critic, and teacher.
A director by training (Doctor of Fine Arts, Yale Drama School), Cohen has staged thirteen professional productions at the Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, plus well over a hundred productions at Stages Theatre Center (Hollywood), Virginia Museum Theatre (Richmond), Theatre 40 (Beverly Hills), Image Theatre (Boston), Summer Repertory Theatre (Santa Rosa), the Medieval Drama Project (Irvine), the Manhattan Theatre Source, various universities, and several operas, videos and films.
In addition to Theatre and Theatre: Brief Edition, he is also the author of many theatre books, including Acting One, Advanced Acting, Acting in Shakespeare, Acting Professionally, Acting Power, More Power to You, Giraudoux: Three Faces of Destiny, Creative Play Direction, and two dramatic anthologies. His essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Theatre Forum, Theatre Survey, Modern Drama, Theater der Zeit, Essays in Theatre, On Stage Studies, The Drama Review, Contemporary Literature, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Slavic and East European Performance, Experiment and Innovation, and Dramatic Theory and Criticism.
Cohen's play, The Prince, published by Dramatic Publishing Company, has been professionally produced in Long Beach, Pittsburgh, Budapest, and in staged readings in New York and Los Angeles; his dramatic translations (The Bourgeois Gentleman, The Misanthrope, Clizia, Tibi's Law) and opera translations (The Magic Flute, Carmen) have been both produced and published widely.
For the past twenty years, Cohen has been the Southern California drama critic for Plays International, reviewing over two hundred plays. In 1999, he received the national Career Achievement award from ATHE - the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Exercise 2-1 Pledge Your Allegiance to a Flag
PART II. THE ACTOR'S APPROACH
Lesson 3: Goal and Obstacle
Fundamental Principle / Exercise 3-1 Reaching / Exercise 3-2 Reaching for Goals / Exercise 3-3 Overcoming an Obstacle / Self-Consciousness / Exercise 3-4 Doing vs. Being / Projection / Exercise 3-5 Resonating / Exercise 3-6 Resonating (A Continuation) / Exercise 3-7 Goals
Lesson 4: Acting with the "Other"
The Other / Exercise 4-1 Making Your Partner Smile / Interactive Dynamics / Exercise 4-2 Vulnerability / Exercise 4-3 Discovery / The Character / Tactics / Exercise 4-4 Using Tactics / Exercise 4-5 One Two Three Four Five Six Seven / Monologues / Exercise 4-6 Inventing the Other
Lesson 5: Beginning to Act
Contentless Scene / Exercise 5-1 Contentless Scene I / Intensifiers / Exercise 5-2 Intensifying / Physicalizers / Exercise 5-3 Varying Locale or Action / Exercise 5-4 Contentless Scene II
Lesson 6: Tactics
Punishment and Reward / Playing Tactics / Exercise 6-1 Frighten Your Partner / Exercise 6-2 Building Intensity / Exercise 6-3 Try to Make Your Partner Cry / Exercise 6-4 Movement and Contact / Exercise 6-5 Encourage Your Partner / Alternating Tactics / Exercise 6-6 Mixing Tactics / The Middle Ranges / Exercise 6-7 Eliminating the Extremes
Lesson 7: Expectations
Expecting Victory / Exercise 7-1 Playing Bored / Positive Goals / Exercise 7-2 Enthusiasm / Exercise 7-3 Try the Impossible / Eye Contact / Exercise 7-4 Tactics and Expectations
Lesson 8: GOTE
A Basic Method / "Get Your Character's GOTE" / Exercise 8-1 The GOTEsheet
PART III. THE ACTOR'S TASK
Lesson 9: Preparing a Role
Finding Your Role / Finding Your "Character" / Editing a Scene / Memorization Methods / Cues: Action Cues and Line Cues / Studying the Part / Exercise 9-1 The Gentleman Caller I
Lesson 10: Rehearsing
Rehearsals / Undirected Rehearsals / Rehearsal Alternatives / Exercise 10-1 The Gentleman Caller II
Lesson 11: Staging the Scene
Stage Directions / Creating the Locale / Movement and Stage Business / Interesting Positions / Reaching the Audience / Exercise 11-1 Setting the Stage
Lesson 12: Choices
The Need for Choices / Good Choices / Exercise 12-1 Bold Choices
Lesson 13: Performing
Stage Fright / Classroom Performance / Play for Results--In the Other Character!
Lesson 14: Evaluation and Improvement
Helpful Criticism / Reworking / Exercise 14-1 Scene Presentation
PART IV. THE ACTOR'S INSTRUMENT
Lesson 15: The Actor's Voice
Breathing / Exercise 15-1 Breathing from the Abdomen / Phonation: Making Sounds / Exercise 15-2 Sounding / Resonance / Exercise 15-3 Exploring Resonance / Pitch / Exercise 15-4 Exploring Your Pitch Range / A Stageworthy Voice / Exercise 15-5 Speaking with Resonance
Imagination / Creativity / Creativity and Imagination/ Using Your Fantasies / Exercise 20-1 Cold/Hot / Exercise 20-2 Age Regression/Advancement / Exercise 20-3 Facing an Imagined Death / Exercise 20-4 Facing Love /
Lesson 21: Emotion and Acting Theory
Exercise 21-1 Playing (with) Real Emotion I / Self-Consciousness / Exercise 21-2 Playing (with) Real Emotion II /
PART V. THE ACTOR'S TECHNIQUE
Lesson 22: Phrasing
Diction / Open-Mouthed Speaking / Exercise 22-1 A Acting with Your Teeth / Exercise 22-1 B / Exercise 22-1 C / Developing Diction / Exercise 22-2 Repeated Sentences / Exercise 22-3 Shaw Speech / Emphasis / Exercise 22-4 Change of Emphasis / Exercise 22-5 Punctuate with Emphasis / Inflection / Exercise 22-6 Inflections / Phrasing
Lesson 23: Attack
The First Word / Physical Attack / Turn-Taking / Exercise 23-1 Turn-Taking Dialog / Preparing Strong Attacks / Exercise 23-2 Action Cues
Lesson 24: Follow-Through
The Hook / Questions as Questions / Statements as Questions / Exercise 24-1 Making Questions / Statements as Statements / Exercise 24-2 Argument-Enders / Trail-offs
Lesson 25: Line Linkage
Analyzing Dialog / Rising End-Inflections / Falling End-Inflections / Attack Inflections / Pauses / Long Speeches / Exercise 25-1 Line Linking / Exercise 25-2 The Long Speech / Line Linking in Practice
Lesson 26: Scene Structure
Breaking Down a Script / Choosing a Scene to Do in Class / Structural Characteristics / Transitions / Scene Breakdown / Exercise 26-1 Scene Structure in Action
Lesson 27: Building a Scene
Building and Topping / Exercise 27-1 Standard Build I / Exercise 27-2 Standard Build II / Exercise 27-3 Standard Build III / Cutting Back / Getting on Top / Pacing a Build / Complex Builds / Exercise 27-4 I Detest Monday / Exercise 27-5 I Detest January / Exercise 27-6 Come Here / Exercise 27-7 Building Molière
Lesson 28: Creating a Monologue
Going It Alone / The Monologue to Someone Else / The Soliloquy / Playing a Monologue or Soliloquy / Exercise 28-1 Prepare a Monologue /