Training of the American Actor

Overview

Successful acting must reflect a society’s current beliefs. The men and women who developed each new technique were convinced that previous methods were not equal to the full challenges of their time and place, and the techniques in this book have been adapted to current needs in order to continue to be successful methods for training actors. The actor’s journey is an individual one, and the actor seeks a form, or a variety of forms, of training that will assist in unlocking his...

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Overview

Successful acting must reflect a society’s current beliefs. The men and women who developed each new technique were convinced that previous methods were not equal to the full challenges of their time and place, and the techniques in this book have been adapted to current needs in order to continue to be successful methods for training actors. The actor’s journey is an individual one, and the actor seeks a form, or a variety of forms, of training that will assist in unlocking his own creative gifts of expression.—from the introduction

The first comprehensive survey and study of the major techniques developed by and for the American actor over the past 60 years. Each of the 10 disciplines included is described in detail by one of today’s foremost practitioners.

Presented in this volume are:

Lee Strasberg’s Method by Anna Strasberg, Lee’s former student, widow, and current director of The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
Stella Adler Technique by Tom Oppenheim, Stella’s grandson and artistic director of the Stella Adler Institute in New York
Sanford Meisner Technique by Victoria Hart, director of the Meisner Extension at New York University
Michael Chekhov Technique and The Mask by Per Brahe, a Danish teacher inspired by Balinese dance and introduced to the Chekhov technique in Russia
Uta Hagen Technique by Carol Rosenfeld, who taught under Hagen’s tutelage at the Herbert Berghof (HB) Studio
Physical Acting Inspired by Grotowski by Stephen Wangh, who studied with Jerzy Grotowski himself
The Viewpoints by Mary Overlie, the creator of Viewpoints theory
Practical Aesthetics by Robert Bella of the David Mamet-inspired Atlantic Theatre Company school
Interdisciplinary Training by Fritz Ertl, who teaches at the Playwrights Horizons Theatre School
Neoclassical Training by Louis Scheeder, director of the Classical Studio of New York University

Arthur Bartow is the artistic director of the Department of Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. A former associate director of Theatre Communications Group, he is the author of the landmark book The Director’s Voice.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

There are probably as many actor-training methods as there are actors, not to mention an exponential number of books explicating those methods. Aspiring thespians serious about their craft can begin with Bartow's (drama, emeritus, Tisch Sch. of the Arts, NYU; The Director's Voice) survey of American methods, both European-inspired and homegrown. Bartow first traces the history of actor training in America, from on-the-job mentoring to the academy. He then cedes the spotlight to ten teachers who were in most cases pupils of the teachers whose methods they describe (e.g., the Lee Strasberg technique is outlined by Strasberg's former pupil and widow, Anna). Three teachers describe their own methods; perhaps the most intriguing section is Mary Overlie's delineation of her Six Viewpoints method of deconstructing and reassembling theatrical forms. Most chapters include exercises, and all conclude with reading lists and sketches of both teacher and profiler. Richard Brestoff's The Great Acting Teachers and Their Methodsprovides similar coverage, but Bartow's work is broader, deeper, and more intimate. Largely free of technical jargon, it should be required reading for all working and would-be actors. An essential purchase for academic libraries with theater collections and highly recommended for larger public libraries.
—M.C. Duhig, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559362689
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 967,660
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Arthur Bartow is the Artistic Director of the Department of Drama at New York University. He is the author of The Director's Voice (TCG) and has been a consultant and a producer. He staged the original production of Short Eyes by Miguel Pinero and Elizabeth Swados' The Beautiful Lady.
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