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StageMatrix Biblio
Theatre Books

The Theatre Team: Playwright, Producer, Director, Designers, and Actors. Contributors: Jeane Luere - editor, Sidney Berger - editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1998.

Directing for the Stage: A Workshop Guide of 42 Creative Training Exercises and Projects (Paperback) by Terry John Converse 1566080142

The Directorial Image: The Play and the Director by Frank McMullan; Shoe String Press, 1962 * 1. Creative preparation a. Receptivity to and evocation of images b. Response to world of playwright * 2. Audience appeal a. Theatrical credibility b. Degree of audience involvement c. Compulsion d. Audience gratification e. Structural characteristics * 3. Potential dramatic values a. Mood b. Mood variations c. Theme d. Character e. Plot f. Dialogue * 5. Focus and configuration of the play a. Relative dominance of dramatic values b. Type of play c. Style of play * 6. Over-all image

* The Theatre--Advancing by Edward Gordon Craig; Little, Brown & Company, 1919 - Part I - A Plea for Two Theatres: This Essay Is Dedicated to the Tired Business Man - A Durable Theatre - The Modern Theatre, and Another - In Defence of the Artist - The Open Air - Belief and Make-Believe: A Footnote to "The Actor and the Über-Marionette." - Imagination - Part II - Theatrical Reform - Public Opinion - Proposals Old and New: A Dialogue Between A Theatrical Manager and An Artist of the Theatre. - Part III - Gentlemen, the Marionette! - On Masks: By A Bishop and by Me - Shakespeares Collaborators - In a Restaurant - "Literary" Theatres - Art or Imitation?: A Plea for An Enquiry After the Missing Laws of the Art - A Conversation with Jules Champfleury - The Theatre in Italy: Naples and Pompeii: A Letter to John Semar - Church and Stage: in Rome: "When in Rome Do as the Romans Do." - Thoroughness in the Theatre - On Learning Magic: A Dialogue Many Times Repeated - Tuition in Art: A Note to the Younger Generation of Theatrical Students - On the Old School of Acting - A Letter to Ellen Terry - Yvette Guilbert - Sada Yacco - New Departures - The Wise and the Foolish Virgins - To Eleonora Duse - Ladies, Temperament and Discipline - Part IV - The Copyright Law: A Suggestion for An Amendment - The New Theme: Poverty - The Voice - Theatrical Love - Realism, or Nerve-Tickling - The Poet and Motion Pictures - The True Hamlet - The Futurists - Fire! Fire!

The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski by Edward Braun; Holmes & Meier, 1982 - I. The Meiningen Theatre - 2. Antoine and the Theatre Libre - 3. The Symbolist Theatre - 4. Alfred Jarry - 5. Stanislavsky and Chekhov - 6. Edward Gordon Craig - 7. Max Reinhardt in Germany and Austria - 8. Meyerhold - the First Five Years - 9. Meyerhold - Theatre as Propaganda - 10. Piscator in Berlin - Ii. Brecht's Formative Years - 12. Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty - 13. Grotowski's Laboratory Theatre

"Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays" by David Ball * : biblio @ script.vtheatre.net

[ appendix ]

Art and Craft of Play Production by Barnard Hewitt; J.B. Lippincott Company, 1940 (basics)

Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques by Viola Spolin; Northwestern University Press, 1963 - Theory and Foundation - I. Creative Experience - Ii. Workshop Procedures - Exercises: The Workshop Sessions in This Section Can Be Used in Progressive Sequence. - Iii. Orientation - Iv. Where - V. Acting with the Whole Body - Vi. Non-Directional Blocking - Vii. Refining Awareness - Viii. Speech, Broadcasting, And Technical Effects - Ix. Developing Material for Situations - X. Rounding-Out Exercises - Xi. Emotion - Xii. Character - Children and the Theater - Xiii. Understanding the Child - Xiv. Fundamentals for the Child Actor - Xv. Workshop for Six-To-Eight-Year-Olds - Formal Theater And Improvisational Theater - Xvi. Preparation - Xvii. Rehearsal and Performance - Xviii. Post-Mortem and Special Problems

Avant Garde Theatre, 1892-1992 by Christopher Innes; Routledge, 1993 - 1: Introduction - 2: The Politics of Primitivism - 3: Dreams, Archetypes and the Irrational - 4: Therapy and Subliminal Theatre - 5: Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty - 6: Ritual and Acts of Communion - 7: Black Masses and Ceremonies of Negation - 8: Myth and Theatre Laboratories - 9: Secular Religions and Physical Spirituality - 10: Anthropology, Environmental Theatre and Sexual Revolution - 11: Interculturalism and Expropriating the Classics - 12: From the Margins to Mainstream

The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre by H. D. Albright, Adolphe Appia, Barnard Hewitt; University of Miami Press, 1960 - Adolphe Appia and "The Work of Living Art" - Preface - 1. the Elements - 2. Living Time - 3. Living Space - 4. Living Color - 5. Organic Unity - 6. Collaboration - 7. the Great Unknown and the Experience of Beauty - 8. Bearers of the Flame - Designs - Adolphe Appia's "Man is the Measure of All Things" (protagoras)

Antoine and the Theatre-Libre by Samuel Montefiore Waxman; Harvard University Press, 1926 - Chapter I: Forerunners of the Theatre-Libre (the Dog Barks) - Chapter II: Henry Becque (and the Caravan Passes) - Chapter III: Andre Antoine - Chapter IV: The Beginnings of the Theatre-Libre - Chapter V: The Battles of the First Season (1887-1888) - Chapter VI: The Second and Third Seasons (1888-1890) - Chapter VII: Antoine's Dream - Chapter VIII: Censors and Sponsors (1890-1891) - Chapter IX: Curel and Brieux (1891-1892) - Chapter X: The High-Water Mark (1892-1893) - Chapter XI: The Last of the Theatre-Libre and After (1893-1896) - Chapter XII: The Influence of the Theatre-Libre

Bodied Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in Contemporary Drama by Stanton B. Garner Jr.; Cornell University Press, 1994

The Theater of Meyerhold and Brecht by Katherine Bliss Eaton; Greenwood Press, 1985 - 1: Brecht's Contacts with the Theater of Meyerhold - NOTES - 2: Everyone Sees Me and I See Everyone"" - NOTES - 3: The Actors Were Served Up in Portions on Small Platform- Plates"" - NOTES - 4: A Demonstratively Proletarian Shabbiness"" - NOTES - 5: Conclusions: A Trojan Horse

Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook by Richard Drain; Routledge, 1995 - Preface - Prologue - Part I: The Modernist Dimension - Introduction - 1: Alfred Jarry - 2: Adolphe Appia - 3: Gordon Craig - 4: F.T.Marinetti, E.Settimelli and B.Corra - 5: Enrico Prampolini - 6: Tristan Tzara - 7: Guillaume Apollinaire - 8: Walter Hasenclever - 9: Valeska Gert - 10: Stanislas Ignacy Witkiewicz - 11: Ivan Goll - 12: El Lissitzky - 13: Sergei Radlov - Notes - 14: Oskar Schlemmer - 15: Daniil Kharms - 16: Gertrude Stein - 17: Eugene Ionesco - Note - 18: Allan Kaprow - 19: Robert Wilson - 20: Tadeusz Kantor - 21: Richard Foreman - Part II: The Political Dimension - Introduction - 22: Bernard Shaw - 23: Sergei Eisenstein - Notes - 24: Ernst Toller - 25: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 26: Erwin Piscator - 27: Workers’ Theatre Movement - 28: Bertolt Brecht - 29: Athol Fugard - 30: Ariane Mnouchkine - 31: Judy Chicago - 32: HÉlÈne Cixous - 33: Carolee Schneemann - 34: Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz - 35: Edward Bond - 36: Charles Ludlam - Part III: The Popular Dimension - Introduction - 37: Gordon Craig - 38: Vesta Tilley - 39: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 40: W.B.Yeats - 41: F.T.Marinetti - 42: Vladimir Mayakovsky - 43: Grigori Kozintsev - 44: Blue Blouse - 45: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 46: Karl Valentin - 47: Bertolt Brecht - Notes - 48: Jean Vilar - 49: Armand Gatti - 50: Peter Schumann - 51: Dorothy Heathcote - 52: Dario Fo - 53: John Mcgrath - 54: Armand Gatti - 55: John Fox - 56: Kwesi Owusu - Part IV: The Inner Dimension - Introduction - 57: August Strindberg - 58: Adolphe Appia - 59: Gordon Craig - 60: Vsevolod Meyerhold - 61: LoÏe Fuller - 62: Isadora Duncan - 63: Wassily Kandinsky - 64: Constantin Stanislavski - 65: Paul Kornfeld - 66: Evgeny Vakhtangov - 67: Federico GarcÍa Lorca - 68: Antonin Artaud - Notes - 69: Judith Malina - 70: Jerzy Grotowski - 71: Louise Steinman - 72: Rachel Rosenthal - Part V: The Global Dimension - Introduction - 73: Antonin Artaud - 74: Bertolt Brecht - Note - 75: Enrique Buenaventura - 76: Errol Hill - 77: Luis Valdez - 78: Peter Brook - 79: Wole Soyinka - 80: Ntozake Shange - 81: Honor Ford-Smith - 82: Augusto Boal - 83: HÉlÈne Cixous - 84: Eugenio Barba - Notes - 85: Guillermo GÓmez-PeÑa

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000 by Thomas S. Hischak; Oxford University Press, 2000

Mise En Scene by David Bradby, Annie Sparks 0413712303

David Mamet, On Directing Film 0140127224
According to David Mamet, a film director must, above all things, think visually. Most of this instructive and funny book is written in dialogue form and based on film classes Mamet taught at Columbia University. He encourages his students to tell their stories not with words, but through the juxtaposition of uninflected images. The best films, Mamet argues, are composed of simple shots. The great filmmaker understands that the burden of cinematic storytelling lies less in the individual shot than in the collective meaning that shots convey when they are edited together. Mamet borrows many of his ideas about directing, writing, and acting from Russian masters such as Konstantin Stanislavsky, Sergei M. Eisenstein, and Vsevelod Pudovkin, but he presents his material in so delightful and lively a fashion that he revitalizes it for the contemporary reader.

The Art of the Film by Ernest Lindgren; Macmillan, 1963 - Part One: Mechanics - 1. The Division of Talent - 2. The Film-Maker's Tools - Part Two: Technique - 3. The Anatomy of the Fiction Film - 4. Editing: Basic Principles - 5. Editing: D. W. Griffith and Eisenstein - 6. The Use of Sound - 7. The Art of the Cameraman - 8. Film Music - 9. Film Acting - Part Three: Criticism - 10. Film Criticism - 11. To Delight or to Instruct? - 12. The Film as an Art

Philosophy of the Film: Epistemology, Ontology, Aesthetics by Ian Jarvie; Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987 - Introduction: On the Very Idea of a Philosophy of the Film: Casablanca - Part One: Movies as a Philosophical Problem - 1: Knowledge and Existence - 2: Plato and the Cave - 3: The Golden Mountain, USDA Approval and Realism - 4: Films and Academic Philosophy - Part Two: Movies as an Aesthetic Problem - 5: Art and Science - 6: Aesthetics and Essentialism - 7: Arguments against Films as Art - 8: Films as Art - Part Three: Philosophical Problems on Film - 9: Philosophy - 10: Popular Philosophy - 11: On Interpretation - 12: Citizen Kane and the Essence of a Person - 13: Rashomon: Is Truth Relative? - 14: Persona: The Person as a Mask - 15: Woody Allen and the Search for Moral Integrity

The Television Handbook by Patricia Holland; Routledge, 2000

Vsevolod Meyerhold by Jonathan Pitches; Routledge, 2003 - 1: A Life of Contradictions - 2: Meyerhold's Key Writings - 3: Meyerhold's Key Production - 4: Practical Exercises

Let's begin with what we might want to gain from a training in Meyerhold's system of acting. Why might twenty actors mimic the externals of an Olympic runner in a dilapidated studio in Moscow? Primarily, to acquire skills, skills which are fundamental to the craft of acting: precision, balance, coordination, efficiency, rhythm, expressiveness, responsiveness, playfulness and discipline. You might want to spend a moment thinking about how developed your skills are in these areas before reading on.

These skills are interdependent, they support one another and, although we can discuss them in isolation, separating them out in practice is far more difficult. Everything we talk about here will in some way be related to these skills - they underpin the work in biomechanics and, although it takes a considerable time to develop them to a professional standard, it's surprising how quickly you can make progress. Let's deal with them in general terms before we go any further.

Think of anything you have done recently on stage (a gesture, a turn of phrase, an expression) and ask yourself the question: could I do that again? If your honest answer is 'yes, exactly', then you have been acting with a definite sense of precision. But it is more likely to be 'almost'. In some cases it may well be 'do what again?' Try it and see and then think about how close you are to your original performance. Now reflect upon what other skills you need to have in order to recreate a gesture precisely: coordination, balance, discipline and, very probably, an understanding of rhythm. As I said, the skills are all interlinked.

Meyerhold's theatre was based upon a developed level of precision. He looked to the practice of circus performers and acrobats, who depend for their own safety on their ability to repeat precisely a movement or gesture, and he tried to bring the same skills into the theatre. If there is physical risk involved in the work the need for precision is multiplied, but even in the safe environment of a discussion over the dinner table the actor needs to be sure of what he is doing. Meyerhold understood this and understood too that, once a level of precision is brought to bear on any action, the action itself becomes more watchable for an audience.

In normal life the body has an automatic balancing facility, centred in the inner ear. But Meyerhold's theatre called for extraordinary skills of balance. His training reflects this by forcing the actor to think about the body's natural capacity to keep balanced. He does this by making things unnatural, by insisting your feet are parallel when you want them to be at ninety degrees, or by asking you to balance other things - sticks, chairs, even other performers. A balanced actor is a confident actor and a confident actor is someone who wants to share their talents with the audience. Again, the connection is with the circus or with gymnastics, the kinds of performance which create a feeling of pleasure stimulated by being witness to the most remarkable feats. Actors don't have to perform somersaults to achieve this feeling of pleasure. Simply holding the stage with a bold and explicit gesture can evoke the same sensation. As long as you don't wobble!

From both a personal and a group perspective, coordination is a central skill in performance. Personally, the need to master your own individual moving parts and to exhibit overall control of these parts is essential. This may mean something simple like moving your arms in time with your legs. Or it might mean rather complex levels of coordination where, for example, one part of your body is operating at a different tempo to another, or when one action (tapping your head) is in conflict with another (rubbing your stomach). From a group perspective your individual movements need to operate in harmony with the rest of the ensemble - you need to coordinate your work with the movements and actions of the rest of the cast and with the demands of the particular space.

It's no coincidence, that in looking for a metaphor to describe the term coordination, I've had to use musical and mechanical terms - 'harmony', 'operating', 'moving parts'. Meyerhold's theatre was influenced by both disciplines (the word biomechanics itself is a clue to this) and it is worth keeping this in mind as we approach the exercises.

Never waste energy on stage. It's tiring for you and it's uncomfortable for an audience. You need all your physical resources at your command when you are performing in a production in Meyerhold's style and needless gestures or over-elaborate actions simply use up those resources unnecessarily. A novice in middle- or long-distance running understands this immediately, but an untrained actor may spend many months exhausting himself before he realises this fact. For Meyerhold, the model for an actor was a factory worker, forced by the repetitive demands of his work to rationalise the working process and eliminate anything superfluous. If you have ever worked on a production line you'll know how quickly you have to adapt your naturally wasteful actions to the tempo of the machine. You might also know, when you do master the demands of the machine and you begin to work efficiently, how visually striking your movements become. They are instinctively fluid, rhythmic and precise.

Rhythm is one of those mysterious terms in theatre, rather like the word 'movement' in the mouths of football pundits - everyone seems to use it but few would be prepared to explain it! For Meyerhold, rhythm is the glue which binds all the other skills of the actor together. He wasn't in any way mysterious about it. As discussed on p. 55, he broke everything down (from the tiniest gesture to the overall structure of a play) into a tripartite rhythm - a rhythm made up of three parts. He then gave each part a name: otkaz, or 'preparation'; posil', or 'action'; and tochka, or 'end point'. These three parts are the very building blocks of biomechanical theatre. From the work of an individual actor to the orchestration of large ensembles, from a line in a small scene to the formal analysis of the whole play, otkaz, posil' and tochka determine everything.

Expression is the means by which an actor communicates with an audience. A director gives you a task and it is your job to express this vision to the spectators. There are as many different kinds of expression as there are theatre styles, perhaps as many as there are directors, or even actors. But certain characteristics can easily be highlighted when we are talking about Meyerhold's theatre. Meyerhold's mode of expression was exaggerated, elongated and stylised. He wanted to build stage pictures which expressed the central idea of the scene without the need for words, and he wanted his actors to have the wherewithal to do this. Thus, the actor in Meyerhold's troupe had to be physically fit, agile and flexible, just as the actors of commedia dell'arte were in a previous era.

When a biomechanical actor walks on stage there is always some kind of reaction from his fellow performers. They may start, do a double-take or rearrange their perspective to compensate for the new arrival. Think of the work of the great silent screen actors (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd) for a model of this kind of expression. They all use a bold, physical style with clear and precise gestures and they all exhibit a beguiling sense of mischief.

Of course, if reactions on stage are so important, it follows that, as an actor, you need to be permanently 'switched on', or responsive, to what is happening before you. Have you ever missed a cue on stage because your thoughts were elsewhere? Or found yourself out of step with the rest of the cast because someone else has done something differently? If so, then you will know what the dangers of being un-responsive are.

But although all stage actors, by definition, must be able to respond to the unpredictabilities of the live event, Meyerhold's emphasis on the responsiveness of the actor was extreme. His ideal is a kind of 'reflexive' actor, reacting almost instantaneously to a given stimulus, as if shocked by an electric charge. The 'charge' may be any number of things: a sound effect, another line, or an entrance or exit. But whatever it is the response time for the actor must be immediate.

I have put these last two skills together as they are two sides of the same coin, in a delicate balance with one another. Too much playfulness and a performance can become self-indulgent and without focus; too little and the spark of creativity which is necessary for any kind of work in the theatre can never catch light. An overly disciplinarian atmosphere in workshops can have this effect, extinguishing the lightness of touch which comes from simple play.

The contemporary accounts of Meyerhold in the rehearsal room highlight both aspects of his character. He was an exacting taskmaster who had a precise vision of what he wanted to see on stage. But although this led him to take a sometimes very authoritative approach in his rehearsals, this atmosphere of control would be punctuated by moments of frolicsome play.

Whether you are participant or leader in a biomechanical workshop it is worth reflecting on this relationship. As a leader you must define the right atmosphere for concentrated and sometimes gruelling physical work. But at the same time you have to be responsive to unforeseen occurrences and be adaptable enough to transform the atmosphere with a different exercise or a change of tack. As a participant you must commit yourself to what are very prescriptive exercises at times. But you must also learn to inject your own individuality into these exercises, to play within tightly controlled conditions.

Having defined the underlying principles of biomechanical work, it is now possible to outline the details of some of the practice. Inevitably this is not an all-inclusive checklist of exercises. Work in biomechanics takes years to perfect and the range of sources (from commedia, to circus, from Japanese theatre to the Elizabethan stage) does not lend itself to written documentation. But it is possible to put down in writing some introductory work and to characterise the kind of activities which are appropriate to a training in Meyerhold's style of theatre. There are several sources now available in English which give further details of the practice and you are asked to read what follows in conjunction with these, especially the video archives of Aleksei Levinski (1995) and Gennadi Bogdanov (1997, 1998).

There is no strict order to these exercises, but I have organised them to suggest a progressive pattern of work - from general skills-based exercises, including a detailed look at the étude 'The Slap' and a revision of basic skills, to those which involve some level of improvisation, and finally to work based on text. Depending on the intended outcomes of the work you may emphasise different aspects of the practice, choosing specific exercises. This is fine but it is advisable to retain an element of the skills-based work throughout the process so that a proficiency in the key skills indicated in the last section can grow.

First, though, you will need to obtain some basic equipment and undertake some warm-up exercises.

You won't need all of the following for each session and, depending on the particular focus of the work, may not need some of them at all. But at some stage the exercises will make use of everything from this list: • A large room, preferably heated, with a floor which will not perish if you drop things on it.
• A number of metre-length sticks - broom sticks will do but they need to be quite strong. If they are over one metre cut them down - the length of the stick is important.
• A bag of tennis balls - enough for each participant to have one. The same goes for the sticks.
• A sound system.
• A video player.
• A means of documenting the work at times - a video or stills camera.

Before you begin anything you must warm yourself up. Biomechanics puts all of your muscles under considerable strain and if these muscles are not properly stretched out and warmed up you will injure yourself. There are many ways to do this, either as a group or individually, but however you choose to do it you must make sure that you are physically prepared for the work.

One efficient way to warm up is to work upwards, from your feet to your upper body, neck and head. Begin with flexing the ankles, the calves and the thigh muscles. Once the legs are feeling warmer and more flexible, you can begin to run or walk in different directions. Pause to rotate the hips, to push them forward and back, left and right. Develop a walk which uses an exaggerated movement of the hips and take it across the circle.

Work now on the knees. Sit in a half squat with a straight back. Take the squat lower and lower before straightening the legs to stand again. As a group, with the leader dictating the pace, lower yourself to a kneel without a sound. Stand again, without using your hands to help you up and repeat this cycle. Practise a Cossack dance: the group can even improvise a Russian soundtrack for it!

Move to focusing on the upper body. Isolate the chest and shift it from side to side (left and right) without moving the hips or the stomach. Keep the shoulders parallel to the floor. Try and push the chest forward to make it convex, then back to make it concave. Then, add in the left and right movements so that you can move all the upper chest in a circle - forward, left, back, right - while the lower torso remains stationary. Once again this flexing of the body might express itself in a stylised walk. Put the hips-walk together with the chest movements and begin to see what kind of strange person emerges as you explore the space!

Now pay attention to the head and neck: first, by simply flexing the head in the direction of the four poles - north, east, south and west; then, by improvising different responses using only the movement of the head and neck. These may include 'surprise', 'disgust', 'curiosity', 'panic' or 'lechery'. You can do this in pairs with one partner entering and making an offer and the other partner responding with a counter-offer. Analyse which responses have a forward impetus and which take the head back.

You will find that once this kind of improvisation is set up you will already be using facial expressions to augment the work. So now develop these by thinking of the face as a mask. Warm up the face by making big faces, wide faces, diagonal faces or tiny faces. Again, toss in some suggestions for expressions and try to capture them in a frozen facial expression or mask: 'lust, 'anger', 'shock' and 'hilarity' will all stretch the face in different directions and begin to establish the sense of an external, non-psychological theatre.

There are no definitive guidelines as to how long a warm-up should be, but you want to be happy that all the major muscle groups have been stretched out. A warm-up must also set the right tone. It's like an introduction to an essay - leading us into the work and giving the participants the right tools to understand the following exercises. Think about how you are covering the essential biomechanical skills, even when you are planning the warm-up. In the examples above, the straight warm-up exercises are interspersed with small improvisations and with very early character work. Using this approach, the participants gain a sense of style as well as simply flexing their muscles.

.... " [ move it to biomechanics.vtheatre.net? ]


book and biblio pages in other directories:


script analysis


From stage directing

... not sorted out!


O'Neill online

“Play Director’s Survival Guide - A complete step by step guide to producing theater in any school or community setting” by James Rodgers and Wanda Rodgers, ISBN 0-87628-862-X

The Stage Management Handbook by Daniel Ionazzi, ISBN 1-55870-235-0

Contemporary Stage Direction. George Black

Clurman's "On Directing"

Fundamentals of Play Directing by Dean and Carra.

"A Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Direction" by William Ball

Basics of Directing for The Stage (1999) 0615114431 VHS

Directing for the Stage by Polly Irvin, has just been published by RotoVision (ISBN 2-88046-661-X), at a UK cover price of £24.95 and a US price of $40.00.

It is a very accessible introduction to the role of the director in the contemporary theatre: including chapters not only on the "usual suspects", but also figures such as William Kentridge and Habib Tanvir. Profusely illustrated with production shots, each chapter provides a short biographical introduction to the director, followed by a passage in which the director talks about their own approaches to theatre-making.
The book concludes with a career synopsis for each of the 12 directors covered, and a brief, but useful glossary of terms.
This would be a particularly useful introduction to modern directors for level one degree programme students and a useful reference for others at a later stage of their studies. The photographic illustrations would also make the book of significant value to scenography students. It is certainly a good buy for college and university libraries, providing a useful addition in a not overcrowded market of titles in this area.

Meyerhold, Eisenstein and Biomechanics: Actor Training in Revolutionary Russia by Alma H. Law, Mel Gordon * A study of Russian theater director Vsevolod Meyerhold's stylized training method, Biomechanics, incorporating Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein's theoretical analysis of the method. Presents the basic principles of movement that Meyerhold and Eisenstein pioneered, traces the history of Biomechanics in relation to their aesthetic development, and describes basic Biomechanical exercises, drawing on newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, eyewitness accounts, and transcribed materials from public and private archives. Contains b&w photos and a glossary. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television

Directing film or television is a high-stakes occupation - the white water rafting of entertainment jobs. It captures your full attention at every moment, calling on you to commit every resource and stretch yourself to the limit. But for many directors, the excitement they feel about a new project tightens into anxiety when it comes to working with actors. Directing Actors is a method for establishing creative, collaborative relationships with actors, getting the most out of rehearsals, troubleshooting poor performances, and giving directions that are briefer and easier to follow.
The following issues are discussed: 
* what constitutes a good performance 
* what actors want from a director 
* what directors do wrong 
* script analysis and preparation 
* how actors work 
* the director/actor relationship 
Directing Actors is the first book of its kind. Judith investigates in detail the sometimes painful, often frustrating, but potentially exhilarating relationship between actor and director. It provides simple, practical tools that directors and actors can use immediately - and takes the reader on a journey through the complexities of the creative process itself.
Although one chapter is entitled 'Result Direction and Quick Fixes', the tools and suggestions of the book are now superficial band-aids or facile jargon; they are radical excursions into the perhaps most misunderstood artistic collaboration - that of director with actor.
Judith Weston brings to this book twenty years of professional acting and nine years of teaching Acting for Directors. Her students include academy Awards and Emmy winning directors, writers and producers of studio and independent feature films, television episodics and MOWs.
* The first book to directly address directors about working with actors
* Offers practical techniques in managing the director/actor relationship

The Director's Eye (textbook)
Part I. Basics
Part II. Rehearsal
Part III.Script Analysis
Part IV. Style
Part V. Collaboration
Part VI. Space
Part VII. The Whole Picture

ACTORS on ACTING, Intermediate Acting -- textbook for THR331 Fundamentals of Directing
"Directors on Directing"
The book has two major parts:

Part 2. Vision and Method
Part 3. Director at Work

The Great Stage Directors: 100 Distinguished Careers of the Theater 0816026025

Service Pages:






Theatre w/Anatoly

Spring 2003: Director's Eye (textbook) -- 7 parts, 35 chapters

[ Most important -- Part 3. Analyzing the Script ]

Recommended: Directors on Directing: A Source Book of the Modern Theater. Contributors: Toby Cole - editor, Helen Chinoy Krich - editor, Helen Chinoy Krich - illustrator. Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill. Place of Publication: Indianapolis. Publication Year: 1963

Between Stage and Screen: Ingmar Bergman Directs. Contributors: Egil Törnqvist - author. Publisher: Amsterdam University Press. Place of Publication: Amsterdam. Publication Year: 1995.

. Contributors: Frank McMullan - author. Publisher: Shoe String Press. Place of Publication: Hamden, CT. Publication Year: 1962.

Film Directors on Directing. Contributors: John Andrew Gallagher - author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1989



The Director's Vision: Play Direction from Analysis to Production Author: Louis Catron, College of William Mary ISBN: 0-874-84760-5 Description: ©1989 / Hardcover * Publication Date: February 1989

Stage Directing Handbook 1559361506

Notes on Directing Frank Hauser & Russell Reich ISBN: 0-9724255-0-0


directing Robert C. Huber

Stage Directions mag.

Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Directing by William Ball

The Invisible Actor (Theatre Arts (Routledge Paperback)) by Yoshi Oida, Lorna Marshall (Paperback)

Acting for Dummies

books page

Director's Vision

First Time Director:

Directors on Directing: A Source Book of the Modern Theater by Helen Krich Chinoy, Toby Cole; Bobbs-Merrill, 1963 [ quotes * questia ]

Play Director’s Survival Guide - A complete step by step guide to producing theater in any school or community setting” by James Rodgers and Wanda Rodgers, ISBN 0-87628-862-X

Gassner's Producing the Play.

Arthur Edwin Krows' Play Production in America (New York: Henry Holt, 1916)

play writing amazon list *

Notes on Directing by Paul Lappen

This book consists of a series of observations and lessons about the art of directing stage productions gained by Hauser over the years, which Reich expanded into book form. Hauser has served as director of the Oxford Playhouse for many years and is a veteran of the London and New York stage.

This book covers the entire directing process, starting from before the first rehearsal and extending to how to deal with critics. Read the play more than once. Understand that plays depict people in extraordinary circumstances. Keep the audience guessing. Rehearsals need discipline. Sincerely praise actors early and often. Listen for actors who drop the ends of lines. Some things are not and should not be repeatable. Don't keep actors hanging about needlessly. Include the crew. Be decisive. An audience's interest in the action is only as high as the actors' interest in it. Lighten up. Don't expect to have all the answers.

This is a very specialized book. For someone with zero experience in the theatre, like yours truly, these observations feel reasonable and logical; practically common sense.It's recommended for those on the outside as it will give a good idea as to what putting on a professional production is all about. For those on the inside, whether actor, director, writer or technical crew, this book is a must. It tells directors what they should know, and what the crew would like them to know.

Directing for the Stage by Polly Irvin

The role of stage director is all-encompassing: storyteller, interpreter, collaborator, people-manager, producer, visual artist, counsellor, literary consultant and creative artist. Why take on this role? How do you become a director? Where do you learn your craft and how do you formulate your stylistic direction?

In Directing for the Stage, twelve top international directors reveal their approach, their inspirations, and what they believe the future holds for live theatre. The contributors include Yukio Ninagawa, who has developed a spectacular grand-style theatre that marries traditional Japanese and Western traditions; Deborah Warner, who reminds us of the joy of stripping theatre back to the actor, the text and the story; and Robert Lepage, one of the world’s leading theatrical inventors.

Directing for the Stage brings together the diverse processes and methods of working of its contributors in their own words and each has contributed unique visual material – sketches, notes, images from the rehearsal process, drawings of the set in progress and images from the final productions.

Between Director and Actor: Strategies for Effective Performance Mandy Rees, California State University, Bakersfield, John Staniunas, University of Kansas Heinemann Drama / 0-325-00432-3 / 2002 / 240 $18.95
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.

One Acts "Small Chekhov" *

Misdirecting the Play: an Argument Against Contemporary Theater Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 2001

Threads of Time by Peter Brook (Methuen 264pp £ 16.99)

The Empty Space:

Reading the Plot:

Peter Brook : A Biography by Michael Kustow

The Staging Handbook (3rd edition) Chapter Five Scenery

Experimental Theatre:

@2005 film-north * * Theatre Chronology *

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From Russian Theatre

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