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Palgrave Macmillan

An Actor's Craft

The Art and Technique of Acting

ISBN 9780230275539
Publication Date December 2011
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This inspirational guide for advanced acting students brings together multiple ways of creating excellence in performance. David Krasner provides tried and tested exercises, a history of actor training and explores the complex relationships between acting theories and teachers.

Drawing on examples from personal experience as an actor, director and teacher, An Actor's Craft begins with the building blocks of mind, body and voice, moving through emotional triggers and improvisation, to a final section bringing these techniques together in approaching a role. Each chapter contains accompanying exercises that the actor should practice daily.

Combining theory and practice, this thought-provoking and challenging study of acting techniques and theories is for actors who have grasped the basics and now want to develop their knowledge and training further.

DAVID KRASNER is Dean of the School of the Arts at Dean College, USA. His publications include American Drama, 1945-2000: An Introduction, Theatre in Theory, 1900-2000: An Anthology and the Errol Hill Award-winning Resistance, Parody, and Double-Consciousness in African American Theatre, 1895-1910.

Introduction: What is Acting?
Preparation: Relaxation, Concentration and Breathing
Vocal and Physical Dynamics
Personalizing: Sense and Emotion Memory
Secrets and Sources
Physicalization and Analysis Through Action
Actions and Six Basic Actions
Improvisation and Jazz Acting
Living Through and Interstitial Scenes
Lying and Denial
The Role: Psychological Gesture, Homework and Rehearsal
Brief Biographies of Key Acting Teachers


'Experienced in a whole host of techniques and processes, Krasner leads the reader on a path of discovery through the world of actor training and back to its origins...Overall An Actor's Craft is a must read for anyone exploring Stanislavski's ideas on psychophysical acting, or those with a keen interest in Method Acting or the development of its concepts.' - Theatre Topics
'I have to say I own most books ever written on acting, and this is the one I would recommend to anyone! It takes the most important elements from all the Method acting teachers and creates a sort of manual that will actually give you results! David Krasner draws from Meisner, Strasberg and Adler in many of these exercises, but also from Maria Knebel and Keith Johnstone. For me it was like he'd scanned my brain for the techniques I found most useful from each acting-path and put them together in a book for me! I am so thrilled with this book and as an acting teacher I will be drawing on it again and again!' - Customer review on amazon.co.uk
'I need another acting book like a hole in the head, but once I started David Krasner's book, I couldn't put it down. Like Krasner's teaching, there is a well thought out clarity that is easily accessible to actors and teachers.' - Milton Justice, Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
'An Actor's Craft is a clear-eyed, practical, and inspiring look at what it takes to excel at performance. The acting theory that Krasner details here is essential reading for students, enthusiasts, and professional practitioners. I apply many of the techniques and ideas I've learned from Krasner - such as the Six Basic Actions - in my own rehearsal room.' - Alex Timbers, Artistic Director, Les Freres Corbusier
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