Bloomsbury Publishing


1616: Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu's China

Bloomsbury Publishing

The year is 1616. William Shakespeare has just died and the world of the London theatres is mourning his loss. 1616 also saw the death of the famous Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu. Four hundred years on and Shakespeare is now an important meeting place for Anglo-Chinese cultural dialogue in the field of drama studies. In June 2014 (the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth), SOAS, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the National Chung Cheng University of Taiwan gathered 20 scholars together to reflect on the theatrical practice of four hundred years ago and to ask: what does such an exploration mean culturally for us today? This ground-breaking study offers fresh insights into the respective theatrical worlds of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu and asks how the brave new theatres of 1616 may have a vital role to play in the intercultural dialogue of our own time.

'The sets of essays invite the reader to make connections on a common theme, including the relationship between the state and the theatre, the restaging of history in the playwrights' work, and audiences' contemporaneous reception of the plays. The dialogue created between the essays illuminates both Shakespeare's and Tang's plays and their cultural contexts and offers a unique methodology that others might follow. 1616 contributes to the limited English-language scholarship on Tang and Ming Dynasty drama and approaches Shakespeare by looking at one particular turning point.' TDR: The Drama Review

20th Century Blues

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Four women bond and become one another's timetable of history. Through the vagaries of love, careers, children, lost causes and tragedy, the women reunite once a year for a photo shoot, chronicling their changing (and aging) selves. But, when these private photographs have the potential to become part of a public exhibit, mutiny erupts and relationships are tested. The images unearth secrets and force the women to question who they are, what they've become, and how they'll navigate whatever lies ahead.


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

7/11 by Kia Corthron is a short play based on the September 11th attacks.

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 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 Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London

Bloomsbury Publishing

Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London explores the intimate and dynamic relationship between acting companies and playwrights in this seminal era in English theatre history.

Siobhan Keenan's analysis includes chapters on the traditions and workings of contemporary acting companies, playwriting practices, stages and staging, audiences and patrons, each illustrated with detailed case studies of individual acting companies and their plays, including troupes such as Lady Elizabeth's players, 'Beeston's Boys' and the King's Men and works by Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Brome and Heywood.

We are accustomed to focusing on individual playwrights: Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London makes the case that we also need to think about the companies for which dramatists wrote and with whose members they collaborated, if we wish to better understand the dramas of the English Renaissance stage.

It's hard to imagine a better modern introduction to the commercial and artistic business of theatre in the early modern period than Siobhan Keenan's Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London. [...] The book is well structured to combine survey and analysis, and a case study in each chapter develops its key findings in more depth. Around the Globe

Contemporary scholarship on Shakespeare, Elizabethan theater, and early modern culture can seem overwhelming in scope, esoteric in content, and impenetrable in presentation. Keenan's accessible, concise volume is not in that mold … Each chapter also offers a specific case study in which Keenan meticulously applies the concepts of the chapter to a specific play. Keenan impresses on readers the vitality and significance of acting companies in relation to this celebrated period of theater. This book will be indispensable for those exploring Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Summing Up: Essential. Academic readers at all levels, professionals, general readers. CHOICE

Acting Stanislavski

Bloomsbury Publishing

Stanislavski was the first to outline a systematic approach for using our experience, imagination and observation to create truthful acting. 150 years after his birth, his approach is more widely embraced and taught throughout the world – but is still often rejected, misunderstood and misapplied.

In Acting Stanislavski, John Gillett offers a clear, accessible and comprehensive account of the Stanislavski approach, from the actor's training to final performance, exploring:

• ease and focus

• the nature of action, interaction and objectives

• the imaginary reality, senses and feeling

• active analysis of text

• physical and vocal expression of character

• the actor in the context of training and the industry.

Drawing on Stanislavski's major books, in both English translations, and on records of his directing process and final studio classes, Acting Stanislavski demystifies terms and concepts. It is for actors from an actor's point of view, and offers many practical exercises and examples as an integrated part of each subject.

Acting Stanislavski also offers an up-to-date overview of the Stanislavski approach, connecting his legacy with the work of his successors, from Michael Chekhov to Meisner, Adler and Strasberg.

A new, extended and fully updated edition of Acting on Impulse: Reclaiming the Stanislavski Approach (Methuen Drama, 2007), Acting Stanislavski now includes new exercises and biographies, a further chapter on The Character, and an expanded glossary along with many other additions to the previous chapters. It is an essential practical and educational resource for any acting student, professional or teacher.

'A manual full of enabling, easing exercises – it will enable you to analyse any scene. The cry of the actor at sea, 'I don't know what I'm doing,' should, with this book, become a thing of the past.' Sam West, Actor and Director

'This is probably the single most useful and powerfully presented summation of Stanislavski's approach to acting available ... What sets this book apart from other recent studies is that the Stanislavskian approach has been filtered through a lifetime of practice – the'concentrate' that emerges is crystal clear, an explication of the 'system' which makes absolute practical sense for the actor ... The primary strength and authority of this book is derived from the single fact that he is an actor addressing other actors with the impassioned objective of encouraging them to take responsibility for their own art and to have 'respect' for what they do.' New Theatre Quarterly

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.


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 Bloomsbury Publishing series offers the best and most essential texts in all areas of drama and performance.