Will Power: How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days

Overview

(Applause Books). Thousands of young people set their sights on becoming professional actors each year, hoping to get a foot in the door with a solid resume built in high school, college, and local theatre company productions. But competition for parts is fierce, and no list of credits is complete without competency in the classical works of Shakespeare. Will Power guides both professional actors and aspirants through a lively 21-day rehearsal process leading up to the day of an actual audition or performance. Actors need never again be confused

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Overview

(Applause Books). Thousands of young people set their sights on becoming professional actors each year, hoping to get a foot in the door with a solid resume built in high school, college, and local theatre company productions. But competition for parts is fierce, and no list of credits is complete without competency in the classical works of Shakespeare. Will Power guides both professional actors and aspirants through a lively 21-day rehearsal process leading up to the day of an actual audition or performance. Actors need never again be confused about where to begin or how to follow through when developing a Shakespearean role. Clear stepping stones have been laid out before them-by Shakespeare himself. Even seasoned actors, familiar with verse, are fascinated when they learn about the acting clues and stage directions embedded in the original First Folio text of Shakespeare's work, in the form of particular punctuation, capitalized letters, and spelling. Putting actors on their feet in dynamic and fun rehearsals, this practical guide helps them develop the 7 Cs of acting: commitment, concentration, conditioning, control, confidence, courage, and clarity while also demystifying how to perform these these magnificently crafted plays.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Little is stranger to many actors than William Shakespeare. In his first book, actor, director, producer, and teacher Basil (cofounder, American Globe Theatre) offers a three-week course that demystifies the English playwright and prepares actors to play Shakespearean roles with confidence. Dividing his course into four phases, Basil uses Phase 1 (days one-eight) to teach the discovery and exploitation of such Shakespearean acting clues as capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, and repetition. Phase 2 (days nine-12) advises actors to put aside scripts and investigate a text's emotional depths by physicalizing lines, defining unfamiliar words, and more. In Phase 3 (days 13-17), actors learn to add subtlety by varying pace, focus, and delivery; identify a character's psychological roles; and use humor. Phase 4 (days 18-21) applies Stanislavskian, or "method," techniques by teaching actors how to establish a character's circumstances and motivations. Day 22 sums up and reinforces. While assuming knowledge of basic acting techniques, Basil is reassuring and enthusiastic, and his practical instructions should benefit both students and working actors. An outstanding addition to a crowded field and an essential purchase for both academic and public theater collections. M.C. Duhig, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557836663
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Applause Bks.
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 799,981
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2006

    Remarkably Helpful and Fun to Read

    'Being a trained method actress, and someone who has performed several of Shakespeare's characters, I was excited that John Basil was able to explain clearly how to combine emotional preparation with Shakespeare's heightened poetic language. His Phase 4 of the rehearsal process includes four separate chapters on elements of the Stanislavski approach: given circumstances, basic human needs, 'doings,' and PASTO (preparation, attack, struggle, turning point, and outcome). I love the examples he's chosen from the plays, and appreciate that there are as many female as male roles among them. In a nutshell, this is a remarkably helpful book.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2006

    What I was looking for - exactly!

    The title gave me clear understanding of what was behind the cover. Expectations delivered. I always wanted to learn and this made it easy for me.s

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2006

    Powerful

    I found this book a great tool for understanding Shakespeare! It made learning it really easy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2006

    A Must-Read

    Finally, this long needed book is published! As a spectator of quite a few Shakespeare pieces I wish all actors in those pieces had read this fabulous book. And I truly hope that they will take advantage of it immediately. Not only does the book give you lots of practical advice on how to gain a deep understanding of Shakespeare's texts, but it also shows you how to use non-verbal cues to effectively communicate this meaning to the audience. This allows the actors to bring onto the stage their maximum potential, and it results in a performace that is well accomplished and even more authentic. Will Power is definitely a must-read.

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