Learning to Perform: An Introduction

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More About This Textbook


In Learning to Perform. Carol Simpson Stern and Bruce Henderson introduce the art and craft of performing literary texts, including poetry, prose fiction, and drama, as well as personal narratives and ethnographic materials. They present a performance methodology that offers instruction in close reading and analysis, the development and refinement of performance skills, and the ability to think critically about and discuss a performance. As students become reacquainted with the world of the imagination and its possibilities, the insights they gain in the classroom can become the basis for achievement not only on the stage or in front of the camera but in many facets of public life. By addressing an expanded sense of text that includes cultural as well as literary artifacts, Stern and Henderson bridge the gap between oral interpretation and the more inclusive field of performance studies. A substantial appendix provides a dozen texts for performance in the classroom, including works by Jane Hamilton, Willa Cather, Henry James, E.M. Forster, Henrik Ibsen, Jane Austen, and Michael S. Bowman.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810126671
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 1,236,181
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents



1 Getting Started 3

2 Your First Performances 36

3 Performance Criticism: Talking and Writing About Performance 73

4 Crafting Your Performance: Techniques and Conventions 106

5 Performing Personal Narrative, Family Histories, and Memoirs 154

6 Performing Poetry I: The Self and the Speaker in the Lyric, Dramatic, and Epic Modes 192

7 Performing Poetry II: Images, Painting, Music, and Dance in Poetry 221

8 Performing Prose Fiction I: Narrative, Point of View, and Consciousness 246

9 Performing Prose Fiction II: Locations and Language 290

10 Solo Performance of Drama I: Introducing Scene Analysis 322

11 Solo Performance of Drama II: Advanced Issues in Technique 343

12 Performing Chronicles, Ethnographic Materials, and Other Nonfictional Genres 368

13 Conclusion: Beyond the Classroom 399

Appendix of Performance Texts 419

Jane Hamilton, "Rehearsing The Firebird" 420

Robert Olen Butler, "The Ironworkers' Hayride" 433

Willa Cather, "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" 445

Henry James, from What Maisie Knew 461

E.M. Forster, from A Passage to India 464

Henrik Ibsen, from Ghosts 469

Bernard Pomerance, from The Elephant Man 476

James Anthony Froude, from History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada 480

John Hosack, from Mary Queen of Scots and Her Accusers 484

Mrs. Maxwell Scott, "Account of the Execution of Queen Mary Stuart" 491

Jane Austen, "Elizabeth" from "The History of England" 496

Michael S. Bowman, "Killing Dillinger: A Mystory" 498

Selected Bibliography 537

Credits 547

Index 551

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