Telling A Story, Part Five, Five Approaches to Acting Series



Telling A Story, Part Five, Five Approaches to Acting Series
Product Details

Telling a Story, Part Five in the Five Approaches to Acting Series by David Kaplan is the fifth 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 Telling a Story, Part Five in the Five Approaches to Acting Series:

The power to place an image in other people’s minds, and to make that image vivid enough to arouse listeners to emotions of their own, is rightly called casting a spell — spell being related to the German word spiel, for “story.” Radio plays, bedtime stories, ghost stories, erotic stories — any of these are familiar examples of how a storyteller can make a listener turn the mind into an amphitheater, a boudoir, or any place the action described is occurring. Casting a spell is much more wonderful than deep-felt reminiscence; the whole value of a story, on the stage and in life, is that a story transcends the personal and becomes a form of shared vision, wider than an individual’s. This magic is repeated onstage whenever a story is told.

Telling a Story, Part Five in the Five Approaches to Acting Series is a chance to learn true witchcraft: the casting of a spell on audience members so that they see what isn’t there. More, the telling of a tale can reveal the occult: what takes place in the mind of the speaker. Shakespeare’s soliloquies offer an actor special opportunities to reveal the processes of thought, and there is a separate chapter in Telling a Story, Part Five in the Five Approaches to Acting Series about ways to prepare and perform soliloquies from Shakespeare’s plays. Like Mae West’s sultry recitation of nursery rhymes, Romeo’s bashful recitation of Juliet’s charms works from the principle that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it — and what happens to you while you say it. Actors burdened with “emotional memory” in story-telling are given access to a more useful technique by identifying point of views and creating dramatic onstage action while telling a story by shifting points of view.

Telling a Story, Part Five in the Five Approaches to Acting Series offers practical techniques for analyzing texts and performing stories within the context of a play, whether written by Sam Shepard, Tennessee Williams the ancient Greeks, or Shakespeare. Telling a Story suggests strategies for actors to switch between performance and story-telling in their approach to any role.

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 978-1-60182-185-0
Paperback Text, 72 pages
© 2007 Hansen Publishing Group, LLC