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The following books on theatre and acting are recommended reading.  Some will be used in our training, others are useful books that should be part of your knowledge and understanding.

"An Actor's Work - Constantine Stanislavski
A contemporary (first published 2008) translation by Jean Bendetti of An Actor Prepares and Building a Character.

"Stanislavski's 'system' has dominated actor-training in the West since his writings were first translated into English in the 1920's and 30's.  His systematic attempt to outline a psycho-physical technique for acting single-handedly revolutionized standards of acting in the theatre. 

Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski's manual into a lively, fascinating and accurate text in English.   He has remained faithful to the author's original intentions, putting the two books previously known as An Actor Prepares and Building a Character back together into one volume, and in a colloquial and readable style for today's actors.   The result is a major contribution to the theatre, and a service to one of the great innovators of the twentieth century."

An Actor's Work will serve as the primary text book for the Academy.

See Video Excerpt from Uta Hagen's Acting Class
A video that puts you right in the classroom. You'll watch this extraordinary talent in action as she works with actors and demonstrates the major techniques of acting.

ACTING, The First Six Lessons by Richard Boleslavsky
"Under their apparent simplicity and light-heartedness, (the lessons are) profound and to the point. Both beginners and established actors, who take their work seriously, will find stimulation in this book."  
Sir Alec Guinness

For actors by an actor of rare subtlety and imagination; for directors by a brilliant versatile director. Richard Boleslavsky's knowledge of the theatre was based on wide experience. A member of the Moscow Art Theatre and director of its First Studio, he worked in Russia, Germany and America as actor, director and teacher. On Broadway, he produced plays and musical comedies and he was a leading Hollywood director.

MY LIFE IN ART by Constantin Stanislavski
Written with the same warmth, liveliness and ability to re-create reality that made Stanislavski a great actor, his autobiography tells of his childhood in the world of Moscow's wealthy merchants, his successes and failures as an amateur actor, how he studied human beings, and developed what has come to be known as the "Stanislavski Method," how his group of dedicated amateurs became "perhaps the greatest acting group the world has ever known (Washington Post)," The Moscow Art Theatre.

THE FERVENT YEARS by Harold Column
The story of the Group Theatre, perhaps the most significant experiment in the history of American theater.
An extraordinarily articulate record of a stimulating episode in the American theatre. It recaptures the idealism, drive, artistic fanaticism, personalities, temperaments and neuroses of a dedicated band of theatre people living in an explosive period of history. Brooks Atkinson

Stella Adler - THE ART OF ACTING
Stella Adler was one of the 20th Century's greatest theatre figures. She is arguably the most important teacher of acting in American history. Over her long career, both in New York and Hollywood, she offered her vast acting knowledge to generations of actors, including Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, and Robert De Niro. The great voice finally ended in the early Nineties, but her decades of experience and teaching have been brilliantly caught and encapsulated by Howard Kissel in the twenty-two lessons in this book.

"Uta Hagen's Respect for Acting is not only pitched on a high artistic level but it is full of homely, practical information by a superb craftswoman. crafts-woman. An illuminating discussion of the standards and techniques of enlightened stage acting." Brooks Atkinson

This is an essential, comprehensive guide to the art and science of acting, as taught by the creator and great teachers of the Stanislavski Method, Lee Strasberg.

AUDITION: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part by Michael Shurtleff
The casting director for Chicago, Pippin, Becket, Gypsy, The Graduate, the Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar tells you how you can find your dream! Absolutely everything an actor needs to know to get the part is here: What to do that moment before, how to use humor; create mystery; how to develop a distinct style; and how to evaluate the place, the relationships and the competition. In fact, Audition is a necessary guide to dealing with all the "auditions" we face in life. This is the bible on the subject.

This introductory text details Arthur Lessacâ™s proven procedures for understanding, training, and improving the voice and speech of the performer by exploring the varied qualities of the physical energies associated with producing sounds.

"Speaking is part of a whole: an expression of inner life." Cicely Berry has based her work on the conviction that while all is present in nature our natural instincts have been crippled from birth by many processes. So an actor needs precise exercise and clear understanding to liberate his hidden possibilities and to learn the hard task of being true to the "instinct of the moment".... the work is not how to do but how to permit: how, in fact, to set the voice free. And since life in the voice springs from emotion, drab and uninspiring technical exercises can never be sufficient. Cicely Berry never departs from the fundamental recognition that speaking is part of a whole: an expression of inner life." from Peter Brook's foreword to Voice and the Actor

By focusing on the words and verse of William Shakespeare, Berry's book will insure that the speaker and the text gets heard - accurately and with true emotional range. Never again will one be accused of simply "reading a prepared statement." Berry's exercises to develop relaxation, breathing and muscular control will literally help everyone breathe easier when confronting the printed page.

In Speaking Shakespeare, Patsy Rodenburg, director of Voice at London's Royal National Theatre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, tackles one of the most difficult acting jobs: speaking Shakespeare's words both as they were meant to be spoken and in an understandable and dramatic way. Rodenburg calls this "a simple manual to start the journey into the heart of Shakespeare," and that is what she gives us. With the same insight she displayed in The Actor Speaks, Rodenburg tackles the playing of all Shakespeare's characters. She uses dramatic resonance, breathing, and placement to show how an actor can bring Hamlet, Rosalind, Puck and other characters to life. This is one book every working actor must have. Ms Rodenburg works regularly with the best known actors of the British and American Theater including Dame Judy Dency, Sir Ian McKellen, Nicole Kidman, Falph Fiennes, Nigel Hawthorne, Olympia Dukakis and Daniel Day Lewis, to name just a few.

ACTING THE SONG by Tracy Moore
Don't settle for being just a singer! Acting the Song reveals the secrets to integrating singing and acting skills for musical theater. Actors, singers, directors, teachers, and students will find time-tested advice, exercises, and interactive worksheets for all skill levels. The book is organized into three progressive sections: first, a discussion of the elements of musical theater; next, a group of effective classroom workshops and exercises; and finally, how to take those new performing skills into the world of professional auditions and performances. Chapters cover vocal and physical warm-ups, body movement, finding subtext, creating a character, song structure, interpreting text of music and lyrics, risks and spontaneity, memorization, collaboration, keeping a performance fresh, and much more. Everyone involved in musical theater needs this dynamic, one-of-a-kind resource that will help singers add drama and dimension to their roles.



Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Academy - 400 East Washington St.  - Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022   440-715-4004