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A Challenge for the Actor

A Challenge for the Actor by Uta Hagen A Challenge for the Actor
Your Price: $36.75 CDN
Author: Uta Hagen
Publisher: Scribner
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 309
Pub. Date: 1991
ISBN-10: 0684190400
ISBN-13: 9780684190402

About the Book:

Uta Hagen, one of the world's most renowned stage actresses, taught acting for more than forty years, alongside her husband Herbert Berghof, at HB Studio, their acting school in New York. HB's long list of famous students includes Matthew Broderick, Sigourney Weaver, Liza Minnelli, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Lemmon, Judd Hirsch, Jason Robards, Mercedes Ruehl, Ron Silver, Al Pacino, and Maureen Stapleton. She was a voice coach to Judy Garland.

In this follow-up to her popular book Respect for Acting, the celebrated actor and teacher greatly expands her thoughts on acting, through exercises of extended scope and range. In A Challenge for the Actor, she raises the issue of the actor's goals and examines the specifics of the actor's techniques. She goes on to consider the actor's relationship to the physical and psychological senses. There is a brilliantly conceived section on the animation of the body and mind, of listening and talking, and the concept of expectation.

But perhaps the most useful sections in this book are the exercises that Uta Hagen has created and elaborated to help actors learn their craft. The exercises deal with developing the actor's physical destination in a role; making changes in the self serviceable in the creation of a character; recreating physical sensations; bringing the outdoors on stage; finding occupation while waiting; talking to oneself and the audience; and employing historical imagination.

The scope and range of Uta Hagen here is extraordinary. Her years of acting and teaching have made her as finely seasoned an artist as the theatre has produced.

What people say:

"Theoretically, the actor ought to be more sound in mind and body than other people, since he learns to understand the psychological problems of human beings when putting his own passions, his loves, fears, and rages to work in the service of the characters he plays. He will learn to face himself, to hide nothing from himself – and to do so takes an insatiable curiosity about the human condition" — from the Prologue

"Hagen adds to the large corpus of titles on acting with vivid dicta drawn from experience, skill, and a sense of personal and professional worth. Her principal asset in this treatment is her truly significant imagination. Her 'object exercises' display a wealth of detail with which to stimulate the student preparing a scene for presentation." — Library Journal

About the Author:

Uta Hagen (1919-2004) was an American actress and drama teacher. Primarily noted for stage roles, she won three Tony awards, including one for lifetime achievement in 1999, and also appeared in several films. She spent decades training subsequent generations of actors from the renowned New York City dramatic arts studio she ran with her husband. She also wrote Respect for Acting and A Challenge for the Actor.

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