Performance Books

Plays

Acting Characters

Bloomsbury Publishing

'A very valuable preparation for the rigours of drama school training' British Theatre Guide

'Technical and refreshingly non-academic . Clear and helpful pathways to guide the student actor' Sir Alan Ayckbourn

'This book offers graspable steps...to equip the actor with the technical tools necessary to be seen and heard in our crowded arena' Sir Ben Kingsley.

Paul Elsam's Acting Characters is an introductory handbook for the aspiring actor, compiled of twenty steps grouped into six sections to help create, present and sustain a believable character in most circumstances. Fundamentally practical, the book avoids the heavy discussion of theory that often accompanies books on the subject, looking instead at the essentials of how to use different voices and body language to convey character.

Acting with Passion

Bloomsbury Publishing

Based on the latest research from the fields of neuroscience and mind-body psychology, Acting With Passion offers a revolutionary new approach to the age-old problems of the actor: dealing with nerves, engaging the body, quieting the inner critic, auditioning, creating a character, and even playing comedy.

With this step-by-step guide, actors who have struggled with 'visualization' and 'emotional recall' can learn an alternative method of accessing feelings through the release of chronic, subtle muscular tensions that connect into the brain at lightning fast speed and can actually produce emotions on cue.

Written with verve and accessibility, and using practical exercises to guide the actor through each stage, Acting With Passion is the must-have text for actors seeking that magical 'state of aliveness'.

'A frighteningly simple super-highway into an actor's well of creativity and passion.' Stephen Beckett, actor

'Acting with Passion offers a wonderful invitation to enter the exhilarating world of Niki Flacks' acting workshops dropping in for useful exercises, profound insights and experienced advice on the craft of acting.' Niamh Dowling, Head of School, Rose Bruford College, UK

Actor Movement

Bloomsbury Publishing

Actor Movement: Expression of the Physical Being is a textbook and video resource for the working actor, the student and all those who lead and witness movement for the actor, including movement tutors, movement directors and directors.

Great actors are not simply great interpreters of text; they are also great interpreters of movement; able to 'embody' all aspects of a character's life, with body and imagination as their instruments. In their work they are expected to become many bodies, all behaving differently from their own. Actors have to construct, inhabit and offer each character's body, with its multiplicity of known and unknown physical expression. This edition features over 155 exercises, four full actor movement processes for creating character, over 20 illustrations and images and complementary online footage supporting 26 of the practical elements.

Inspiring confidence in the actor to make fully owned physical choices and develop a love of movement, this essential new textbook is ideal for those actors seeking to give to their movement all the complexity and range possible for great acting.

Actor-Musicianship

Bloomsbury Publishing

Actor-musicianship is a permanent feature of the musical theatre landscape. Actor-musician shows can be seen from Bradford to Broadway, from village halls to international arena tours. However, with the exception of a couple of academic papers, there has been nothing written about this fascinating area of theatre practice.

Jeremy Harrison's book addresses this deficit, operating as both a record of the development of the actor-musician movement and as a practical guide for students, educators, performers and practitioners. It explores the history of actor-musicianship, examining its origins, as well as investigating – and offering guidance on – how this specialist form of music theatre is created.

It, in turn, acts as a means of defining an art form that has to date been left to lurk in the shadows of musical theatre; a subset with its own distinctive culture of performer, maker and audience, but as yet no formal recognition as a specialism in its own right. The actor-musician show is multifarious and as such this book targets those interested in mainstream commercial work, as well as alternative and avant-garde theatre practice.

This book draws together expertise from a range of disciplines with contributions from many of the leading figures in this field, including performers, directors, teachers, MDs, producers and writers. It also features a foreword by theatre director John Doyle.

The Actor's Business Plan

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Actor's Business Plan is a self-directed practical guide for actors graduating from formal training programs, as well as for those already in the business whose careers need to move ahead more successfully. Using the familiar language of acting training, the book offers a method for the achievement of dreams through a five-year life and career plan giving positive steps to develop a happy life as an actor and as a person. It assists performers to flourish using the same kind of business/career planning that is a necessary part of life for entrepreneurs and business people.

This introduction to the acting industry provides essential knowledge not only for how the business actually works, but also describes what casting directors, agents, and managers do, demystifies the role of unions, discusses how much things cost, and offers advice on branding and marketing strategies. It differs from other such handbooks in that it addresses the everyday issues of life, money and jobs that so frequently destroy an actor's career before it is even begun.

Offering support as a personal career coach, empowering the actor to take concrete steps towards their life and career dreams, The Actor's Business Plan: A Career Guide for the Acting Life is a must-have book for actors who are determined to be a part of the professional world.

'Since actors spend much more time seeking and preparing for roles than actually acting, a career in acting should be viewed as a business. An actor, like any other professional, needs career plans, which pretty much sums up the main message of this work by veteran actor, director/producer, and agent Brody. Individual chapters cover the development of a five-year plan to achieve one's goals, getting an agent, and trying to land a job in a desired theater. Also covered are topics such as taking coaching classes, trying out for roles, handling life-plan obstacles (e.g., student debt), and dealing with business expenses (e.g., headshots, union fees, relocation expenses, or health insurance), along with tips on how to make contacts and write query letters or resumés. There is a section on what casting directors, agents, and managers actually do. The second half of the book focuses on the major acting centers of the country: Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and the Washington, DC-Baltimore area. For each of these areas, the author provides a selection of agents, casting directors, photographers, drama schools, management, and theater companies with contact information. Summing Up: Recommended. All audiences.' CHOICE

The Actor’s Workbook

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Actor's Workbook is an essential workbook for actors, actors in training and teachers of acting and drama. The workbook provides a clear, step-by-step guide to learning techniques in acting.

The book presents a system of exercises which will develop core acting skills, offers techniques for developing an authored role and models for devising new work. These techniques are based on the practices of Konstantin Stanislavski and his recent theatrical descendants including Uta Hagen, Sanford Meisner, Michael Chekhov and others. The exercises in the book are outlined in a student-centred approach, offering not only in-class exercises, but also pre-class exercises, educational frameworks, teaching-tips, suggested texts through which to apply the work, follow-up exercises and suggestions for further reading in each chapter.

Enabling and guiding the actor's sustainable, communicable, believable transformation into an imagined reality, this workbook is filled with powerful and precise acting tools, each underpinned by a rigorous and well-explained philosophy of practice.

Auditioning for Film and Television

Bloomsbury Publishing

'If you're working with Nancy Bishop you know you're in good, accomplished hands, whether you're a director or an actor.' – Neil Burger, Director of The Illusionist

Auditioning for Film and Television is a must-have book and video guide for actors, written from the perspective of a Casting Director and offering practical advice on audition technique, scene analysis, online casting and social media.

Auditioning for Film and Television is a practical workbook written from a casting director's point of view that teaches actors the craft of film auditioning in front of the camera. It shows actors how to use today's internet technologies to advance their careers and features success strategies and actual exercises to achieve results in the casting studio.

A new edition of the popular Secrets from the Casting Couch, and now including video, Auditioning for Film and Television includes commentary, analysis and questions in workbook form for scenes from many celebrated films; exercises for actors to practise in front of a camera; and advice on career advancement and marketing in the age of social media.

This is a terrific guide for young actors...I read it cover to cover and then went out and bought copies for all my kids because, truthfully, it puts an experienced eye on pretty much all of life's early encounters. Donald Sutherland

The Body Speaks

Bloomsbury Publishing

Seventy percent of everyday conversation is conveyed through body language, twenty percent is the voice and only ten percent is the meaning of the words. In The Body Speaks, expert RADA trainer Lorna Marshall shows how to recognise and lose unwanted physical inhibitions that our background, education or family have taught us and presents a fundamental re-thinking of our relationship to the body and its role in performance.

Good performers - be they trapeze artists, Shakespearean actors, Butoh dancers or film stars - are able to fully reach their audience and engage with them because they have learnt to use their bodies to its best effect. Through a series of practical exercises, Lorna Marshall encourages us to unleash our potential, discover new possibility for the body and express ourselves more clearly. This new edition has been fully revised to include the latest thinking on the subject and more exercises particularly for performers in TV and film.

' A useful book for a postgrad student studying performance technique for the first time ' The Stage (March 2009)

Brecht on Performance

Bloomsbury Publishing

Brecht on Performance: Messingkauf and Modelbooks presents a selection of Brecht's principal writings for directors and theatre practitioners, and is suitable for acting schools, directors, actors, students and teachers of Theatre Studies. Through these texts Brecht provides a general practical approach to acting and to realising texts for the stage that crystallises and makes concrete many of the more theoretical aspects of his other writing.

The volume is in two parts. The first features an entirely new commentated edition of Brecht's dialogues and essays about the practice of theatre, known as the Messingkauf, or Buying Brass, including the 'Practice Pieces' for actors (rehearsal scenes for classics by Shakespeare and Schiller). The second contains rehearsal and production records from Brecht's work on productions of Life of Galileo, Antigone, Mother Courage and others.

Edited by an international team of Brecht scholars and including an essay by director and teacher Di Trevis examining the practical application of these texts for theatres and actors today, Brecht on Performance is a wonderfully rich resource. The text is illustrated with over 30 photographs from the Modelbooks.

'An excellent complement to Brecht in Practice. … These theoretical essays concern the practice of theatre (known as Messingkauf, or 'buying brass') and explore the way actors should interpret and perform a text.' American Theatre

'Combined with Brecht in Practice, [Brecht on Performance] makes a compelling contribution to the anglophone understanding of Brecht and may indeed breathe new life into how we do theatre in the twenty-first century.' Modern Language Review

Clear Speech

Bloomsbury Publishing

This book gives clear guidance to good pronunciation and is written in an easily-accessible form. Many people can identify and solve their speech problems and significantly improve their voice by using tried and tested exercises. The systematic arrangement of the material with clear illustrations makes it easy for the layman to understand and work from effectively. This new edition contains additional exercises as well as an expanded chapter on Indistinct Speech.

Methuen Drama publishes a wide range of practical resources and 'tools' for actors and performers on approaches to acting, voice-work and movement from leading industry practitioners and trainers.