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Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov

Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov
Your Price: $23.95 CDN
Author: Stella Adler & Barry Paris
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 352
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 0679746986
ISBN-13: 9780679746980

About the Book:

"Don't use your conscious past. Use your creative imagination to create a past that belongs to your character. I don't want you to be stuck with your own life. It's too little. You must get beneath the words before you can say them. The text must be in you. It is your job to fill, not to empty the words. They can only be used if they come out of what you need to say." — Stella Adler

An original member of the famed Group Theater, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists to come out of the American theater. She was a force of nature, an unforgettable personality. Once, when she walked into a crowded room and her presence caused a hush to fall over it, a little girl asked, "Mommy, is that God?" As a Stanislavsky disciple and founder of her own highly esteemed acting conservatory, the extravagant actress was also an eminent acting teacher, training her students – among them Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert DeNiroin the art of script interpretation.

Stella Adler saw script interpretation as the actor's profession ("The most important thing you can teach actors is to understand plays"). Her classes of script analysis became legendary; brilliant revelations of the playwrights, the characters, the social class and the time of the play as opposed to one's own. Adler explored how to find the ideas and experience them; how to search for the soul, for what is unsaid; all of this as a way of building craft as distinct from talent.

The classic lectures collected here, delivered over a period of forty years, bring to life the plays of the three fathers of modern drama: Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, and Anton Chekhov. With passionate conviction and shrewd insight, Adler explains how their plays forever changed the world of dramaturgy while offering enduring insights on society, class, culture, and the role of the actor. She explores the struggles of Ibsen's characters to free themselves from societal convention, the mortal conflicts that trap Strindberg's men and women, and the pain of loss and transition lyrically evoked by Chekhov.

A majestic volume, Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov allows you to experience the work of these masters "…as if to see, hear and feel their genius for the first time" — William H. Gass

What people say:

"Superb. Stella's words burn off the page like her beauty, her scornful glance, her authority, and the fire in her truth." — Irene Worth

"One regrets never having seen [Adler] perform, but reading her on these writers, especially Chekhov, is the next best thing." — The New York Times

"A beautiful treasure for actors and directors. Brilliant and passionate." — Kim Stanley

"No critic has ever talked about theater… with more insight and passion. Earthy and sophisticated, imperious and droll, [Adler] had the gift of making plays written over 100 years earlier seem excitingly modern." — The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Plunges you into the world of theater… [and] reveals Stella Adler as a literary and social analyst, Stella Adler as an acting teacher, and Stella Adler as a great personality." — The New Republic

"These inspired lectures are evidence that Stella Adler is hands down the greatest acting teacher America has produced…. Nobody with a serious interest in the theater can afford to be without this book." — John Guare

About the Author:

Stella Adler (1901-1992) was an American actress and an acclaimed acting teacher. She began her life on the stage at the age of five in a production that starred her father, the legendary actor of the Yiddish Theatre, Jacob Adler. Stella Adler was one of the co-founders of the revolutionary Group Theatre. In 1934, she met and studied with Konstantin Stanislavski and began to give acting classes for other members of the Group, including Sanford Meisner and Elia Kazan. Adler established the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in 1949 and taught at Yale University.

Barry Paris is an author and journalist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

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