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Acting with Adler

Acting with Adler
Your Price: $21.95 CDN
Author: Joanna Rotté
Foreword by: Ellen Adler
Publisher: Limelight Editions
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 192
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 0879102985
ISBN-13: 9780879102982

About the Book:

The figure of the legendary Stella Adler towers high among the memorable acting teachers in American theatre. Acting with Adler provides an opportunity to sit in on the classes of this remarkable woman of whom her student Marion Brando said, "My debt and gratitude to her are enormous. As a teacher of acting, she has few peers. As a human being, few equals."

Over the course of a nearly 50-year teaching career,  Stella Adler coached a strikingly wide range of actors from Brando and De Niro to Teri Garr and Candice Bergen. Her methods of training, her principles of acting and character interpretation, her analysis of the seminal plays of the modern theatre comprise a legacy for everyone who followed her. In Acting With Adler, that legacy gains the special immediacy and authenticity of her own spoken words. Joanne Rotte came to New York to work on her doctorate in theater at the City University of New York. She met Stella Adler through Harold Clurman, her teacher at CUNY. Over three years of intensive work, Joanna Rotté worked with the adored (and feared) Stella Adler as a student and as an actress under her direction, all the while taking the copious notes that have become the heart of this book.

Stella Adler opened her theatre studio in New York City in 1949. Alone among American acting teachers, she had studied with Stanislavsky, and for more than 40 years she taught her own evolving interpretation of the Stanislavsky System. That system, she believed, ventured beyond psychological realism and reliance on "emotion memory" to make "you relive the sensations you once felt," which was the hallmark of Method acting in the United States. To her students Adler recalled Stanislavsky's focus on doing an action within a specific circumstance – the situation of the play not one's own situation. This became the centre of Adler's technique of acting; her teaching stressed discovering the deepest meanings of a play, using imagination to develop ways to express such meanings and grounding the ultimate performance in disciplined training of voice and body.

Joanna Rotté not only paints a vivid portrait of her mentor, she also codifies her teachings, drawing from class notes and over 5,000 pages of Stella's papers and unedited lesson plans covering 25 years of Conservatory classes. Throughout, Stella Adler speaks about her principles in a tough-minded and demanding way, inspired by her overriding conviction that as a person an actor "becomes bigger through working."

What people say:

"Fascinating anedcotes about Adler's wit and style make this book an entertainment to read...." — Choice

"Rotté's account creates a vivid portrait of Adler as a consummate teacher and a complex woman." — Theatre Journal

About the Author:

Joanna Rotté is an American writer, teacher, director, and actor. She is Emeritus Professor of Theatre at Villanova University where she was Chair of the Theatre Department from 1985-1992. She is the author of Acting With Adler.

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