The Actor's Instrument: Body, Theory, Stage

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 1992 - Performing Arts - 218 pages

Contemporary literary theory, though it sometimes embraces the values of performance, has rarely addressed the concerns of the professional performer. The Actor's Instrument: Body, Theory, Stage reinterprets performance at a theoretical level and applies theory to acting problems in the attempt to offer new options to the professional artist. Hollis Huston scrutinizes with a highly theoretical eye the specific and practical problems of performance, believing that such philosophical thinking will enable artists to reappropriate the powers of the theatrical art.

Huston challenges the notion that the director is the central figure in theater. Drawing on theater history and architecture, on contemporary corporeal research, on philosophies of text and representation, and on his experience in the acting studio, he shows that the director's theater is only one of many ways in which theater might be organized. The Actor's Instrument challenges directors, theater scholars and artists to see theater in a larger context. It offers the acting teacher a new physiological interpretation of the performer's breathing, as it supports voice, movement, role, and the spectator's attention. It describes the performance contract, as it is seen most simply in street theater, and speculates on what a performer's theater might be like. The book also offers a poetics of the central stage and suggests a new way of writing about performance.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Crossing Over
The Gest of the Breath
The Actors Instrument
Waiting for Space
The Simple Stage
How Did We Get Here?
Simple Staging
Performr nce Thought and Roland Barthes
Last Words
Works Consulted

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information