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The Actor and the Alexander Technique

The Actor and the Alexander Technique
Your Price: $25.95 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Kelly McEvenue
Foreword by: Patsy Rodenburg
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 176
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0312295154
ISBN-13: 9780312295158

About the Book:

A practical guide to the Alexander Technique, commonly used by actors who desire a more efficient use of their body.

If you've ever wanted to walk the walk of somebody other than yourself, The Actor and the Alexander Technique is the book for you. Author Kelly McEvenue has years' of experience helping actors and actresses literally walk in someone else's shoes!

Kelly McEvenue has been on the staff of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for over 30 seasons as the teacher of the Alexander Technique and as a movement coach. The Alexander Technique of movement was developed in the 19th century by Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander who started to lose his voice during performances. What he discovered was that the way he held his head actually strained his neck and shoulder muscles and constricted his larynx. He found that improving his posture allowed him to breathe and articulate more effectively on stage. Combining vocal clarity and body movement, he developed a performance coaching method that helps people stop using unnecessary muscular and mental tension during their everyday activities.

The Actor and the Alexander Technique is specially adapted for actors to promote efficient use of the body. Kelly McEvenue shows you how this unique technique can help you feel more natural on the stage. But the Alexander Technique isn't simply for actors. Some teachers train people who are in pain from spinal disc problems, arthritis, pinched nerves or sciatica. The book provides step-by-step warm-up exercises, "balance" and "center" exercises, spatial awareness exercises. She also talks about imitation, the use of masks, nudity on the stage, dealing with injury and aging. Anyone who has ever practised yoga or taken classes in Pilates will recognize similar principles in the Alexander Technique, particularly the forward-and-up motion of the head and neck. And like yoga and Pilates, Alexander is good training for everyone because it promotes a healthier, more flexible way of moving – one that definitely has a more attractive line than the stressed-out slouch.

With a foreword by Patsy Rodenburg, The Actor and the Alexander Technique is a book that belongs on the shelf of every working and studying actor.

What people say:

"Destined to become a classic for the working actor's bookshelf." — Library Journal

"Kelly McEvenue's book is unique in that it focuses almost exclusively on the benefits of Alexander work for the actor and makes a welcome addition to the Alexander Technique canon.." — Theatre Topics

About the Author:

Kelly McEvenue is one of the Canada's top teachers of the Alexander Technique. She is an Associate Artist with Soulpepper Theatre Company where she teaches with both the Academy and coaching the acting company. She also teaches at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre training at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. She has assisted renowned voice teacher Patsy Rodenburg in several International Workshops for Voice Teachers at the Royal National Theatre and was on the faculty at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England.

Patsy Rodenburg, OBE is is a British voice coach, author, and theatre director. She is Head of Voice at and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company RSC) and Royal National Theatre. As a leading voice and acting coach, she works regularly with actors including Dame Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Mike Nichols, and Ralph Fiennes, as well as politicians and business leaders. She conducts business workshops and corporate master classes for Fortune 500 companies.

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