Acting in Real Time
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Writing this book has been quite a journey, which started when my son, David, told me that I “should write that down.” This was in Holland, where I spent most of my professional life as a director, acting teacher, . . .
Introduction: Human Behavior Is the Core Business of Theater
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Two acting styles and techniques dominated Western theater in the twentieth century. At the beginning of the century, the Russian actordirector Konstantin Stanislavski1 developed the convention of . . .
Part 1: Premises and Inspirations
1. The Dilemmas of the Actor: Who Is He and What Is His Task?
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If the presence of the actor is the most important feature of real-time theater, we want to know who the actor is. By this I don’t mean the glossy, glamorous, biographical gossip on actors in the media, and not . . .
2. The Heart and Soul of the Actor: Stanislavski’s Approach
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The core of all theater is drama. In the classical dramaturgy recorded by Aristotle in his Poetics,1 the word drama means “action”—it is “something that happens,” an event, or a situation told as a story. (Many . . .
3. The Actor as Eyewitness to Social Processes: Brecht’s Approach
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Stanislavski’s acting technique of psychological realism was meant to ensure that the audience would experience the dramatic situation and the characters as a kind of substitute reality with which they could . . .
Part II: Acting In Real Time
4. The Technique
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The identity of an individual is defined to a high degree by what she does, and what she does is influenced by character structure, temperament, and all mental characteristics. External events—political and . . .
5. The Workshop
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The idea for a workshop came to me in 1978 while I was working with drama students at the University of Utrecht on a show called Figures of Contemporary History, based on Heinrich Böll’s novel . . .
6. The Exercises
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Being present requires of the actor a raised awareness. This begins with really seeing and looking. The actor enters; he looks around and sees the stage, along with everything that is on it, including the other actors. He . . .
Part III: Real-Time Acting and Theater In Historical Perspective
7. Origins and Conventions
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Since realism became a style and a convention in the theater, playwrights, directors, and actors have resisted its overwhelming consequences. This began in Stanislavski’s time and lasts until today. Many . . .
8. New Conventions and Innovations
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Driven by enormous technological and scienti‹c innovations, the secularization of society accelerated, and the persistent needs of humankind to overcome the threats of nature led men and women to take upon . . .
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Illustrations (follow page 204)
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pp. galley 1-galley 8
Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 16 B&W photos
Publication Year: 2012