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Getting to the Task
Part One, Five Approaches to Acting Series
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Getting to the Task, Part One in the Five Approaches to Acting Series by David Kaplan is the first part in the Five Approaches to Acting Series. By popular demand of instructors and students alike, all five of David Kaplan's approaches to acting have been unbundled into separate acting textbooks to allow instructors to pick and choose the approaches that best fit their methodology of teaching acting.
Here is David Kaplan on the essentials of Getting to the Task, Part One in the Five Approaches to Acting Series:
Modern acting begins with a question: Why? Why am I happy? Why am I sad? Why am I doing what I do? The answer, given by Konstantin Stanislavsky, the Russian inventor of modern acting, turns out to be another question: What do I need to do?
Stanislavsky suggested actors analyze a text for tasks, not objectives (that is his American translator’s idea). Getting to the Task, Part One of the Five Approaches to Acting Series, clarifies Stanislavsky’s approaches for actors within the context of the time in which it was created: the then-new science of psychology and the rich inner world of fiction. Of particular interest is Stanislavsky’s lifelong inspiration from yoga, mention of which was cut by Soviet censors and a racist American publisher.
When acting becomes something you do out of necessity, action onstage becomes charged with desire, passion, and deep felt emotion. The tasks performed onstage contribute to Stanislavsky’s aim: communion with the audience, emotional and spiritual.
Getting to the Task, Part One includes practical exercises for class and rehearsals, techniques for analyzing a text for tasks, techniques for maintaining and deepening performances, examples from film to study, and a useful working vocabulary. It explains how other approaches might expand Stanislavsky’s vision. Getting to the Task, Part One separates Stanislavsky from his inaccurate (and widely influential) translators and interpreters in America. Getting to the Task, Part One separates The System from “The Method” — itself the subject of Building Images, Part Three in the Five Approaches to Acting Series.
All five of David Kaplan's approaches to acting are available together with an additional part that deals with comparing, choosing and combing the different approaches in his The Collected Series: Five Approaches to Acting. This is an excellent acting textbook that deals with theory and practice for both beginning and seasoned actors.
About the Author
David Kaplan is an author and theater director who stages plays around the world with professional companies in indigenous languages and settings. He is a former Fellow at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, Texas, the repository of Tennessee Williams’ literary estate. He has experience directing Williams’ repertory around the world.
In 2003 Mr. Kaplan staged Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale in Cantonese at the Hong Kong Repertory Theater. Seasons past include directing the first Russian production of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer (the subject of a TASS documentary), a Sufi King Lear in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, performed in the Uzbek language and broadcast on Uzbek television; Genet’s The Maids in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia, performed in Mongolian. In America he has staged his own adaptation of The Circus of Dr. Lao in Los Angeles, Tennessee Williams’ The Traveling Companion at WestBeth in New York, and Williams’ Frosted Glass Coffins in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival.
David Kaplan is also the author of Tennesse Williams in Provincetown (Hansen Publishing Group, 2007) and articles on such varied subjects as Eudora Welty and Andres Segovia, the history of Shakespeare productions in Central Asia, the American monologist Ruth Draper, the twenty-first century freaks of Coney Island USA. His translations of Chinese poetry from eighteenth century Japan will appear in the journal Alehouse early 2007.
Paperback Text, 66 pages
© 2007 Hansen Publishing Group, LLC
Code Name Price 978-1-60182-180-5 The Collected Series: Five Approaches to Acting $59.95 978-1-60182-182-9 Playing Episodes
Part Two, Five Approaches to Acting Series
$14.95 978-1-60182-183-6 Building Images
Part Three, Five Approaches to Acting Series
$14.95 978-1-60182-184-3 Inhabiting the World of the Play
Part Four, Five Approaches to Acting Series
$14.95 978-1-60182-185-0 Telling A Story
Part Five, Five Approaches to Acting Series