Creating Life on Stage: A Director's Approach to Working with Actors

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History Ink Books, 2007 - Performing Arts - 252 pages
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    Marshall W. Mason's unique methods will help all theatre artists find the only thing that matters: creative truth. When I was a young actor, he taught me everything I needed to know and continue to use today. In fact, I don't set foot inside any character I play unless Marshall's with me.
    - Jeff Daniels
    Marshall is the director who has brought almost all my plays to life on stage. No one gets better performances from actors than he does, so he knows what he's talking about. His approach should prove useful to actors who want to inhabit a playwright's creation without appearing to act.
    - Lanford Wilson

The theatrical magic that theatergoers experience isn't magic at all - it's hard work. Before the curtain goes up, an intense collaborative process transforms the words of a writer's script into a production that involves thousands of details, hundreds of decisions, and dozens of dedicated people. Making that collaboration a successful journey is a director's job, and in Creating Life on Stage, you'll find out how a major American director does it.

Award-winning director Marshall Mason guides you through the entire adventure: from choosing a script to pre-production preparations, through rehearsals to opening night. He shows you how sound fundamental choices and a dynamic vision can make productions at any level successful: large or small; national, regional, or local. Mason takes you inside a director's mind to see how imaginative ideas can lend thematic structure and coherence to costuming, design, music, and lighting. Then he shows how a director can take a vision and bring it to life through the actors. With hard-won wisdom, Mason describes a collaborative process that helps actors locate the impulses to action that lead to strong, truthful choices inside the world of the play.

See how a director becomes what Marshall Mason calls "a sculptor of movement." Read Creating Life on Stage and understand how an artistic vision and creative collaboration can help audience members live the play from their seats and relive it again and again in their memories.

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The Challenge
A Directors Vision

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About the author (2007)

Marshall W. Mason was the founding artistic director for New York's legendary Circle Repertory Company, which The New York Times identified as "the chief source for new American plays." His twelve Broadway productions including Burn This, The Fifth of July, Talley's Folly, As Is, and Knock Knock have earned him five Tony nominations for Best Director. He's won six Obies for his work, and in 1999 he received a Mr. Abbott Special Millennium Award that named him "one of the most innovative and influential directors of the twentieth century.

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