Mastering Shakespeare: An Acting Class in Seven Scenes

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Allworth Press, 2003 - Drama - 268 pages
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Shattering the myth that only the British can act Shakespeare, a veteran acting coach presents a boldly American approach to the Bard. Written in the form of a play and set in an acting studio, this volume’s characters include a master teacher and sixteen acting students grappling with the challenges of acting Shakespeare. Readers will be intrigued as they learn to approach Elizabethan drama in the Method concepts of action, objective, and obstacle familiar to American actors.

Each of the book’s seven scenes presents specific acting challenges and offers specific solutions: using operative words and punctuation to divide a speech into measures; establishing focal points and creating images within a speech; delivering spoken subtext; using physical actions and opposing physical movements to orchestrate a speech; and much more. Examining speeches from 32 of Shakespeare’s plays, this invaluable tool presents a logical and cumulative progression of skills for actors of all levels of experience. This book is a necessity for any wanting to illuminate each word of Shakespeare’s speeches.

 

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About the author (2003)

Scott Kaiser caught the Shakespeare bug at the age of fifteen playing Bottom in A Midsummer Nightrsquo;s Dream in high school. He earned a BA in theatre at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1981, and an MFA from the University of Washington Professional Actor Training Program in 1985. For several years he worked on the West Coast and at Shakespeare festivals around the nation, playing roles such as Pericles, Malvolio, Dromio, Tranio, Sebastian, and Launcelot Gobbo. In 1988 he joined the faculty of Duke University, where he began adapting, directing, and teaching Shakespeare under the guidance of Master Teacher Robert L. Hobbs. In 1991 he traveled to London, where he earned his Advanced Diploma in Voice Studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Since that time Scott has coached and taught at numerous theaters and conservatories, including the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, The Intiman Theater in Seattle, Rose Bruford College in England, the University of Utah, and the Drsquo;ell Arte School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake, California. Currently, Scott serves as Head of Voice and Text at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland where, since 1993, he has coached more than 65 productions, and collaborated as associate director and co-adapter on several shows. Scottrsquo;s first book, Have Shakespeare, Will Travel, published by OSF in 1998, is a collection of four Shakespearean adaptations for three actors which toured high schools throughout the western states as part of OSFrsquo;s School Visit Residency Program. Scottrsquo;s adaptations of Shakespearersquo;s three Henry the Sixth plays were produced at OSF in the 2004 season. Scott co-directed with Artistic Director Libby Appel. nbsp;

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