Inhabiting the World of the Play, Part Four, Five Approaches to Acting Series



Inhabiting the World of the Play, Part Four, Five Approaches to Acting Series
Product Details

Inhabiting the World of the Play, Part Four in the Five Approaches to Acting Series by David Kaplan is the fourth 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 Inhabiting the World of the Play, Part Four in the Five Approaches to Acting Series:

You would pack differently for a safari than for a trip to the arctic, right? You would behave differently at a formal banquet than at a picnic, right? For the same reasons an actor approaching a role needs to understand the rules for behavior in the play in which the role appears — and how a specific role is evaluated by the world of the play. In the world of the play are you well-behaved? Rude? Strong? Weak? Beautiful? Most importantly: how do you survive in the world of the play ? How do you prosper?

The cultural anthropologist Ruth Benedict offers a model for actors to identify the pattern that gives measure to the world of any play. The study of cultural anthropology may seem far afield from the study of acting, but it isn’t really: actors adapt their behavior to the circumstances of a production the way voyagers adapt to a foreign land and learn the local customs in order to survive. Actors, though, go a few steps further than anthropologists: they inhabit the stage world as if born into it, learning an appropriate accent or learning how, circa 1965, to size up a divorced woman who is smoking a cigarette while waiting for a drink.

Inhabiting the World of the Play, Part Four lays out a ten part plan for actors to analyze a play, and ways to create individual roles within plays. Inhabiting the World of the Play, Part Four gives practical applications in rehearsal and performance, explains how to apply a world of the play analysis to a text, and points actors towards available examples in film. A world of the play analysis is especially useful for plays that require heightened behavior: Shakespeare, Genet, Ionesco, for example, but also its an approach very useful for “realistic” plays. You think Neil Simon’ characters have the same rules in life or onstage as Tennessee Williams’ characters? Think again.

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.

David Kaplan, author

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.

January 2007

ISBN 978-1-60182-184-3
Paperback Text, 60 pages
© 2007 Hansen Publishing Group, LLC