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Acting: The First Six Lessons

Acting: The First Six Lessons
Your Price: $45.50 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Richard Boleslavsky
Edited by: Rhonda Blair
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 206
Pub. Date: 2010
Edition: 2nd Edition
ISBN-10: 0415563860
ISBN-13: 9780415563864

About the Book:

For actors by an actor of rare subtlety and imagination; for directors by a brilliant versatile director.

An actor, director, teacher, and member of the Moscow Art Theatre, Richard Boleslavsky offers the six basic lessons for actors of all disciplines and experience. A classic text.

Acting: The First Six Lessons is a treasure-box of wise observations about the art of acting, all wrapped up in six charming dialogues between a teacher and an idealistic student. Laid out like the script of a play, these dramatic dialogues explore the field of acting according to one of the original teachers of Stanislavsky's System in America. Generations of actors have been enriched by Richard Boleslavsky's witty and acute picture of the actor's craft. These six "lessons" – miniature dramas about Concentration, Memory of Emotion, Dramatic Action, Characterization, Observation, and Rhythm – distill the challenge facing every actor, with actionable exercises designed to “develop the actor’s physical resources” and train the body as one would tune an instrument. This classic work on acting is one of the very few that stands beside Stanislavsky as a must-have for all acting students and professionals.

Richard Boleslavsky's knowledge of the theatre and cinema was based on wide experience. He was a member of the Moscow Art Theater and director of its First Studio. He was also the co-founder of the American Laboratory Theater School, which trained Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler among other actors and teachers, playing an important role in bringing Stanislavsky's techniques to America. Richard Boleslavsky 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.

Acting: The First Six Lessons was first published in 1933 and remains a key text for anyone studying acting today. This new edition of an essential text is edited by Rhonda Blair and supplemented for the very first time with documents from the American Laboratory Theatre. These collect together a broad range of exciting unpublished material, drawn from Boleslavsky's pivotal and unprecedented teachings on acting at the American Laboratory Theatre. Included are:
• "The Creative Theatre Lectures" by Richard Boleslavsky
• Boleslavsky's "Lectures from the American Laboratory Theatre"
• "Acting with Maria Ouspenskaya," four short essays on the work of Ouspenskaya, Boleslavsky's colleague and fellow actor trainer
• A new critical introduction and bibliography by the Editor, Rhonda Blair.

What people say:

"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

"Any serious student of directing should read, well, everything. Of course, don't miss the standard texts, including Richard Boleslavski's Acting: The First Six Lessons." — Frank Hauser, legendary theatre director

"One wants to quote any number of passages for their wit, the gayety of their instruction, the fineness of their perceptions, the good sense they show, their helpfulness and their ever-incisive clarity … The thing for actors to do, whether they are young or old, is to buy this book … It does more to explore the art of acting than any single volume for years." — New York Post

About the Author:

Richard Boleslavsky (1889-1937) (born Ryszard Boleslawski) was a Polish actor and director. He was a member of the Moscow Art Theatre and director of its First Studio. He emigrated to New York in the 1920s and was the first teacher of the Stanislavski system of acting in the West. Although he went on to produce plays on Broadway and was a leading Hollywood director in the 1930s and 1940s, his enduring work is contained in this book Acting: The First Six Lessons.

Rhonda Blair is Professor of Theatre at Southern Methodist University. She has directed and performed in over 70 productions and has been doing original solo and collaborative performance work since the 1980s. She is also a leading voice on the applications of cognitive science on the acting process and is currently the President of the American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR).

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