Between Director and Actor: Strategies for Effective Performance / Edition 1

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The soul of any theatrical production springs from the collaboration of director and actors. To learn to coach a good performance, however-and to accept such coaching-is a fine and delicate art, not merely a matter of imposition of will. Now Mandy Rees and John Staniunas offer a set of strategies to help directors and actors work together more effectively, from starting the first rehearsals to maintaining a long-running show.

The authors concentrate on the production process, an ideal bridge between classroom training and theatrical experience for both director and actor. Their specific focus is the use of notes. Directors communicate to actors through notes, and actors use those notes to shape their performances-a process commonly used but rarely documented. The major portion of the book consists of 65 notes, both beginning and advanced, that a director might communicate to an actor during the rehearsal process. Arranged by category-from structuring the scene and achieving vocal clarity to maintaining pace, flow, and believability-these notes can be read from cover to cover or selected individually depending on the problem at hand. An extensive interview section shows how different directors and actors approach common problems and offers practical advice about note giving and taking.

For directors, this book can help with methods of coaching and communicating with actors. For actors, this book can help clarify, interpret, and address notes from a director. For both directors and actors, this book is a handy reference guide to help improve and refine their crafts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325004327
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 1/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.87 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mandy Rees teaches acting, movement, and voice at California State University, Bakersfield and serves as an editor of the Voice and Speech Review.

John Staniunas is a professional director and actor and an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas where he teaches directing, acting, and musical theatre.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
For the Director
Giving Notes 1
For the Actor
Taking Notes 7
The Notes
Structuring the Scene 11
Energize the beginning of the scene 11
Make the exposition active 13
Don't play the ending 15
Tell the story 17
Trust the text 20
Build the sequence or speech 22
Separate your thoughts 24
Make the transition 26
Find the action when telling a story about the past 29
Make the realization 31
Finish the scene 33
Vocal Clarity 36
Emphasize key words 36
Drive energy through to the end of the line 39
Build vocally 40
Don't overstress words 42
Clean up your diction 44
Physical Clarity 47
Make the blocking your own 47
Open up physically 49
Give focus/take focus 51
Find economy 54
Loosen up 56
Control your physical choices 58
Commitment 62
You are holding back emotionally 62
Take a risk 65
You are thinking too much 68
You are monitoring your performance 70
Connect with your scene partner 72
Include the audience 74
Find the vulnerability 77
Give your character more status 79
Take the stage 81
Take control 84
Depth and Variety 86
Raise the stakes 86
Look for the opposite 89
Look for the humor 91
Find the antithesis 93
Use more variety in your choices 95
Use the images 97
Differentiate your characters when playing multiple roles 100
Pace and Flow 104
Act on the lines, not in between them 104
Earn the pause 106
Pick up the pace 108
Don't rush 110
Enter/exit dynamically 112
Set up the laugh 115
Play through to the crest of the laughter or applause 118
Believability 121
Invent the words 121
Follow your impulse 123
Relate to your character 125
Concentrate on the action, not on the emotion 127
Find the sincerity in an emotional moment 129
Make the discovery 132
Don't anticipate the moment 133
You are working too hard 135
Don't anticipate the laugh 137
Commit to the ad lib 139
Tone down your expressions 141
Know the world of the play 143
Rehearsal Problems 147
You are setting choices too early 147
Do your homework 149
Go back to your script 151
Invest energy into the rehearsal 154
Learn to like your role 156
You are beating yourself up 158
Leave personal problems outside the rehearsal space 160
Moving into the Theatre 164
Performance Notes 171
Conversations with Directors 180
Libby Appel 180
Anne Bogart 182
Scott Ellis 184
D. Scott Glasser 187
Joseph Hanreddy 188
Bill Rauch 190
Conversations with Actors 193
Andre De Shields 193
Boyd Gaines 195
Debra Monk 196
Linda Purl 198
Karen Ziemba 200
Glossary 203
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2015

    So very thoughtful for both the director and the actor.  Easy to

    So very thoughtful for both the director and the actor.  Easy to read format, but encourages independent thinking and room for interpretation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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