The Purpose of Playing: Modern Acting Theories in Perspective

The Purpose of Playing: Modern Acting Theories in Perspective

Paperback Theater: Theory/Text/Performance (Paperback)

By (author) Robert Gordon

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  • Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
  • Format: Paperback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 23mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 28 July 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Ann Arbor, MI
  • ISBN 10: 0472068873
  • ISBN 13: 9780472068876
  • Sales rank: 398,061

Product description

"The Purpose of Playing" is the first book to analyze and synthesize modern critical acting theories, their historical evolution, and their relationship to one another, enabling students, teachers, and professionals to comprehend the different aesthetic possibilities available to actors today. Robert Gordon identifies six categories of twentieth-century acting, each of which constitutes a different tradition of performance: realistic characterization, visual/ scenographic emphasis, improvisation and games, political theater, self-exploration, and cultural exchange. Theorists discussed include: Stanislavski, Chekhov, Meyerhold, Copeau, Laban, Brecht, Artaud, Grotowski, and Michael Brook, among others.

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Author information

Robert Gordon is Reader in Drama, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Review quote

"This analysis of major movements and figures from the early nineteenth century to the pre sent is clear, thorough and penetrating, and its scope across periods, countries and styles is impressive." - Xerxes Mehta, University of Maryland-Baltimore County"