Free to Act: An Integrated Approach to Acting / Edition 1

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Free to Act presents a holistic approach to actor training that integrates physical and psychological technique. This text makes the complexities of acting intelligible and accessible to the beginning actor through its system of more than 150 progressively developed exercises with guides for self-analysis and journal entries. Its integrated approach emphasizes the idea that the body informs the mind and that emotion is rooted in physical action. Providing a carefully developed system of training, Free to Act guides the student-actor through the complex process by which an actor is formed.
  • Includes 153 in-chapter exercises accompanied by guides for self-analysis, enabling students to integrate intellectual understanding with experiential knowledge.
  • Illustrates difficult exercises and concepts with exercise photos and line drawings throughout the text.
  • Offers guides to keeping an acting journal, enabling students to better understand and integrate experiential material
  • Offers guides to criticizing peer work in class in order to develop a thinking actor and create a positive classroom atmosphere.
  • Features production photos to illustrate techniques in performance.
  • Demonstrates text analysis for action and intention with a sample scored scene in Chapter 12.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780030132377
  • Publisher: Harcourt College Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/1990
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Each chapter concludes with a summary.




The Nature of the Dramatic Situation.
Acting in the Dramatic Situation.
Understanding Acting Technique.
Acting Through Improvisation.


1. Centering.
Kinesthetic Awareness.
Balance, Coordination, Flexibility, and Strength.
Rediscovering Center.
The Actor's Neutral.

2. Voice.
Feeling the Voice.
The Process of Vocal Production.
Sound and Speech.
Taking Pleasure from Sound.
Opening the Vocal Passage.
Sound and Emotion.
Sound and Movement Integration.
Words and Feelings.

3. Harnessing Energy.
Energized Performance.
Life Energy and Theatrical Energy.
Enlarging Expression.
Centering and Energy.
Directing Energy.
Purpose, Concentration, and Energy.
Environment as Physical Energy.
Character and Energy.

4. Developing Trust Through Physical Sharing.
Breaking Down Barriers.
Eliminating the Fear of Touching.
Surrendering Physical Control.
Shaping and Sharing and Improvisation.

5. The Warm-Up.
Getting Focused.
Creating the Warm-Up.
Group Warm-Ups.
Relating the Warm-Up to the Work.


6. Communicating on Stage.
Listening and Taking In.
Personalization and Subtext.

7. Given Circumstances.
Physicalizing the Given Circumstances.
Justification Through Given Circumstances.
Improvising the Given Circumstances.
Integrating the Given Circumstances.
Endowing the GivenCircumstances with Emotional Meaning.

8. Objectives and Actions.
Objectives and Action Verbs.
Objectives Reflect Character and Circumstances.
Objectives and Obstacles.
Objectives and Actions as Tactical Adjustments.
Inner Action.
Integrating Technique.

9. The Psycho-Physical Connection.
Psychophysical Action.
Inner Action Justifies Physical Action.
Making Strong Physical Action Choices.
Speech Is Action.
Action, Movement and Gesture.
Action Before Emotion or Emotions Before Action?


10. Reading a Play for Performance.
The Process of Interpretation.
The Story.
Superobjective and Dramatic Action.
Character and Dramatic Action.
Tempo and Rhythm.
The Scene as Microcosm of the Play.

11. Entering Your Character's World.
Discovering Your Character's Environment.
Who--The Start of the Search for Psychology of Character.
Writing a Character Biography.
The Psychological Past as Action in the Present.

12. Scoring the Scene.
Determining Objectives.
Beats and Moments.
Scoring the Beats.
Scoring the Action.
Line Readings as Spoken Action.
Building Beats and Actions into a Scene.


13. Creating a Character.
Thinking as Your Character.
Physicalizing Character.
Establishing Character Center.
Character Energy.
Character Rhythm and Tempo.
Character Alignment and Walk.
Voice and Character.
Characteristic Gesture.
Dressing a Character.
Personal and Costume Props.

14. The Rehearsal Process.
The Undirected Scene.
Rehearsal as Experiment and Exploration.
Late Rehearsal Check-Up.
Preparing a Monologue.
Working with a Director.

Glossary of Theatrical Terms.



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