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Sanford Meisner On Acting

Sanford Meisner On Acting
Your Price: $22.95 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Sanford Meisner with Dennis Longwell
Introduction by: Sidney Pollack
Publisher: Vintage Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 252
Pub. Date: 1987
ISBN-10: 0394750594
ISBN-13: 9780394750590

About the Book:

Sanford Meisner on Acting is a "class in a book" that provides a solid foundation in the acting technique taught by Sanford Meisner, one of the best known and beloved teachers of acting of the 20th century. For some five decades, he taught acting at the now legendary Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.

Sanford Meisner on Acting examines his teachings as they are put into practice with an acting class of eight men and eight women for fifteen months, beginning with the most rudimentary exercises and ending with affecting and polished scenes from contemporary American plays. Throughout these pages Meisner is a delight – always empathizing with his students and urging them onward, provoking emotion, laughter, and growing technical mastery from his charges. In this gem, Sanford Meisner gives it to you straight on how to "live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances."

Sanford Meisner on Acting, written by the famed acting coach in collaboration with Dennis Longwell, is the only book that reveals and explains the technique of this celebrated teacher of three generations of actors. His technique, which is now known as "The Meisner Technique," emphasized the reality of doing, rather than the affective memory approach of Method acting. He developed this unique approach in the 1930s, after working with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler at The Group Theatre. Like Stanislavski, Strasberg, and Adler before him, Sanford Meisner taught his students to reproduce honest emotional human reactions. His approach is an imminently practical one; his famous "repetition exercise", in which two actors sit opposite each other and respond in the moment with a repeated phrase, breaks down overly structured technique and builds openness, flexibility, and listening skills.

Sanford Meisner joined the faculty of New York's Neighborhood Playhouse in 1935 and went on to train thousands of actors in his organic technique. The list of devoted Meisner disciples is impressive: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Robert Duvall, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tony Randall, Suzanne Pleshette, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Peter Falk, Jack Lord, Gwen Verdon, Grace Kelly, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Grey, Diane Keaton, Chris Noth, Christopher Meloni, James Gandolfini, and more. As acclaimed theater and film director Elia Kazan once said, "Take it from a director: if you get an actor that Sandy Meisner has trained, you've been blessed."

"The Meisner Technique" is helpful not just for actors, but also for directors, writers, and teachers. A number of directors also studied with him at the Neighborhood Playhouse, among them Sydney Pollack (who learned that craft so well that he eventually taught there), Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer, and writers such as Arthur Miller and David Mamet. Your library is not complete without this one.

What people say:

"This book should be read by anyone who wants to act or even appreciate what acting involves. Like Meisner's way of teaching, it is the straight goods." — Arthur Miller

"If there is a key to good acting, this one is it, above all others. Actors, young and not so young, will find inspiration and excitement in this book." — Gregory Peck

About the Author:

Sanford Meisner (1905-1997) is considered one of the greatest acting teachers of the 20th century. He was a brilliant teacher, and had a gift for getting the best out of his students. After years of working with actors, he developed "The Meisner Technique." His techniques were unorthodox, yet highly effective, leaving behind a legacy of commitment and enthusiasm rarely seen in any art.