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An Acrobat of the Heart a Physical Approach to Acting

by Stephen Wangh

  • ISBN: 9780375706721
  • ISBN10: 0375706720

An Acrobat of the Heart a Physical Approach to Acting

by Stephen Wangh

  • List Price: $17.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish date: 09/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780375706721
  • ISBN10: 0375706720
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Description: Noted acting teacher Stephen Wangh first encountered the legendary Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski in a 1967 workshop where Grotowski presented for the first time in America his innovative physical approach to actor training. Grotowski's exercises were aimed at directly tapping emotion through bodily exertion, bypassing the trap of self-consciousness and helping one to feel fully "present" in one's body and in the role. So many actors' voices and bodies seem disconnected from their emotional instruments, and Grotowski aimed to reconnect them through exercises that use physicality as a conduit to emotional courage and to deeper acting values.

While Wangh found this method a revelation, he felt there was a gap between the training exercises and their application to actual rehearsal and performance, and he has devoted his years of teaching and directing to bridging this gap and applying the approach to actual real world acting circumstances. The physical approach to acting, as modified by Wangh and others, is not a universal map to be rigidly followed, but a starting point from which an actor can begin to explore his or her own personal unknown territory in uniquely individual ways. In "An Acrobat of the Heart", Wangh takes us inside a fictionalized acting class, laying out practical exercises he and others have developed, alongside a narrative showing how they fit together and how they can work for different people in practice. The resulting book provides both a clear introduction to a powerful technique, and the tools for an individual actor to transform it into a living practice of the art of acting.

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