The Actor's Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers

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Jackson R. Bryer, Richard Allan Davison
Rutgers University Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 279 pages
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This collection offers insight into 75 years of acting in the American theatre through interviews with 17 of its most accomplished performers. From Jessica Tandy, who made her stage debut in 1927, to Nathan Lane, who first appeared on Broadway in 1982, these conversations help preserve the details, nuance, rhythm and magic of performances that might otherwise have been lost with either the artists or the audiences who were lucky enough to have seen them. Many of the actors recall legendary performances that inspired them; in speaking of their own work, they also have much to say about their contemporaries. As they each tell their own story, tracing their professional lives from repertory theatre and summer stock to Broadway and beyond, we hear their perspectives on the art of acting, their insights into the characters they've played and the directors with whom they have worked, and their views - from the inside - of the world of American theatre. Taken together, the observations and opinions of these 17 masters provide a lively view of the actor's art.
  

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Contents

Zoe Caldwell
1
Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy
20
Ely the Danner
40
Ruby Dee
55
George Grizzard
70
Julie Harris
88
Eileen Heckart
107
Cherry Jones
124
James Earl Jones
143
Stacy Keach
156
Shirley Knight
172
Nathan Lane
188
Jason Robards
205
Maureen Stapleton
226
Index
261
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Jackson R. Bryer is a professor of English at the University of Maryland, where he has primarily taught courses in twentieth-century American fiction, American drama, and modern drama, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, for four decades. Among the several books he has authored, edited, or co-edited are French Connections: Hemingway and Fitzgerald Abroad, Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzgerald-Perkins Correspondence, and Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. For eight years he contributed the chapter on Fitzgerald and Hemingway to American Literary Scholarship: An Annual. He served on the Board of Directors of the Ernest Hemingway Society/Foundation from 1992-94 and from 1997-2005. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the edition of Hemingway's complete correspondence.

Richard A. Davison is a professor of English at the University of Delaware. He is coeditor of "The Actor's Art and has published books on Frank, Charles, and Kathleen Norris and numerous articles in major literary journals.

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