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Between Director and Actor

Strategies for Effective Performance

By John Staniunas, Mandy Rees
Afterword by Mandy Rees

The soul of any theatrical production springs from the collaboration of director and actors. To learn to coach a good performance, however-and to accept such coaching-is a fine and delicate art, not merely a matter of imposition of will. Now Mandy Rees and John Staniunas offer a set of strategies to help directors and actors work together more effectively, from starting the first rehearsals to maintaining a long-running show.

The authors concentrate on the production process, an ideal bridge between classroom training and theatrical experience for both director and actor. Their specific focus...

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The soul of any theatrical production springs from the collaboration of director and actors. To learn to coach a good performance, however-and to accept such coaching-is a fine and delicate art, not merely a matter of imposition of will. Now Mandy Rees and John Staniunas offer a set of strategies to help directors and actors work together more effectively, from starting the first rehearsals to maintaining a long-running show.

The authors concentrate on the production process, an ideal bridge between classroom training and theatrical experience for both director and actor. Their specific focus is the use of notes. Directors communicate to actors through notes, and actors use those notes to shape their performances-a process commonly used but rarely documented. The major portion of the book consists of 65 notes, both beginning and advanced, that a director might communicate to an actor during the rehearsal process. Arranged by category-from structuring the scene and achieving vocal clarity to maintaining pace, flow, and believability-these notes can be read from cover to cover or selected individually depending on the problem at hand. An extensive interview section shows how different directors and actors approach common problems and offers practical advice about note giving and taking.

For directors, this book can help with methods of coaching and communicating with actors. For actors, this book can help clarify, interpret, and address notes from a director. For both directors and actors, this book is a handy reference guide to help improve and refine their crafts.

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