Actors, We Sometimes Worry, Get Short Shrift in The

By O'quinn, Jim | American Theatre, January 2011 | Go to article overview

Actors, We Sometimes Worry, Get Short Shrift in The


O'quinn, Jim, American Theatre


ACTORS, WE SOMETIMES WORRY, GET SHORT SHRIFT IN THE pages of American Theatre. Their work, as theatre journalists know all too well, is difficult to write about with any measure of objectivity or precision. The kinds of stories about actors you most often see--celebrity effusions, pop-psych speculations, skin-deep sell-a-show interviews--won't pass muster here, or in any publication that takes the performing arts seriously. But the actor is an essential factor in the theatrical equation--the art form's primordial element, you might even say. You can't understand how theatre works without understanding the work of the actor.

So when our annual, oversized Approaches to Theatre Training issue comes around each January--the one you hold in your hand happens to be the biggest issue we've ever published, in terms of both page count and advertising sales--it can be a chance to delve deeply into the machinations of the actor's craft. One year ago, in a training issue devoted to "Pillars of Voice Work," the magazine reached out directly to luminaries and innovators in the field of vocal training. This year, adopting the theme "The Articulate Body," we move on to new territory, that of movement and physical-theatre training for actors, in the U.S. and internationally. Once again, the focus is on the methodology of leading figures in the field, but--since many of the great movement theorists, from Lecoq and Laban to Grotowski and Michael Chekhov, are no longer with us--those methods are primarily viewed through the lens of an array of teachers and practitioners. …

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Actors, We Sometimes Worry, Get Short Shrift in The
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