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One of the very best books ever written about the art and craft (and yes, the science) of acting. This groundbreaking study traces the evolution of acting theory and technique from the sixteenth century to the time of Stanislavski and details how practitioners and philosophers talked about how actors portrayed passion and emotion on stage. This may sound potentially dry, but it's not. It's utterly fascinating and illuminating. It covers the philosophy of the humors in the Renaissance, man as ...more
A book that makes me smarter every time I reread it. The basic idea to treat paradigms of acting as responding to scientific paradigms is one of those "obvious but then no-one else thought of it first" ideas; but the book itself is endlessly learned, digressive, and interesting. This time around, I maybe found the last sections, on contemporary theater, to be less strong than what comes before it; the book's real heart is in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, which is a fine place to ...more