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The Actor and the Target

The Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan The Actor and the Target
Your Price: $24.95 CDN
Author: Declan Donnellan
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 288
Pub. Date: 2006
ISBN-10: 1559362855
ISBN-13: 9781559362856

About the Book:

The Actor and the Target is a fresh and radical approach to acting by world-famous director Declan Donnellan. It is straightforward and unpretentious, with a spirit of artistic and personal freedom.

"Acting is a reflex, a mechanism for development and survival…. It isn't 'second nature,' it is 'first nature'." — Declan Donnellan

Declan Donnellan co-founded London's internationally acclaimed ever-inventive Cheek By Jowl theatre company in 1981 and has been radically reimagining Shakespeare and the classical repertoire ever since. His work has taken him across Europe, from residencies at The Barbican and National Theatre to working in Russian and French. Though you wouldn't know it from the composed style and thoughtful tone of the book, Declan Donnellan is a giant of theatre. Respected across the world, this book put into words his revolutionary practice and process. It's been updated several times since the first publication, each time he adds to and revises his 'target' approach.

Delving into the gray area of a performer's thought process, the book dissects each choice one can make while forming a character. In addition, the process eliminates the many "blocks" that actors confront while in rehearsal for a part – from "I don't know what I want" and "I don't know who I am" to "I don't know how I should move" and "I don't know what I'm playing." By pinpointing what is at stake and what is the specific target, the author – who has worked extensively in British, Russian, and American venues – raises exciting, revealing questions that performers can ask themselves while inventing a stage or screen persona.

Clearly and systematically laid out and full of firm and unambiguous precepts, The Actor and the Target is a mainstay on drama school reading lists and it's a book that many actors return to again and again.

What people say:

"The Actor and the Target comes from the heart of [Donnellan's] own experience. Fear, generalising and other actor's blocks are dismembered lethally and with infectious relish." — Alan Rickman

"Brilliantly direct, the 'target' equips the actor with keys to unlock the fears and flab of acting. Declan's insightful voice guides us to the heart of the process; exhilarating to read and more importantly to put into practice." — Joseph Fiennes

"…cuts open every generalisation about acting and draws out gleamingly fresh specifics." — Peter Brook

"…explains Donnellan's highly practical system and sheds unique light on one of the greatest directors of acting in our time." — Le Monde

"…hugely practical and never gets lost in theory." — El Pais

"…a gripping read, as acute about the psychology of lying as it is about the art of acting." — Guardian

"…rooted in modern theatre, modern psychology and, above all, modern reality." — Izvestia

"Unpretentious, straightforward, and pierced with acute insight." — Kommersant

About the Author:

Declan Donnellan is an internationally acclaimed British theatre director, co-founder and joint Artistic Director of Cheek by Jowl, and author of The Actor and the Target. From 1989 to 1997, he was associate director of the Royal National Theatre, and has worked with the Avignon Festival, the Maly Theatre of St. Petersburg and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has been presented with many international awards, including the Olivier for Outstanding Achievement, and an OBE in 2017.