The Philosophical Actor

A Practical Meditation for Practicing Theatre Artists

Donna Soto-Morettini

Donna Soto-Morettini

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

228 pages | 3 halftones, 4 tables | 7 x 9 | © 2010
Paper $33.00 ISBN: 9781841503264 Published August 2010

There have been many books published on acting, actor training, and practical theories for preparing for a role, but none of these books have ever looked philosophically at the language and the concepts that we use when we talk about acting. The Philosophical Actor is the first attempt to grapple with the fundamental questions of truth, art, and human nature unexamined in past treatments, from the first great essay by Diderot to the exhaustive system described by Stanislavski. With wide appeal to actors, directors, acting students, acting teachers and trainers, Donna Soto-Morettini draws from twenty-five years of experience as an acting teacher and director to introduce innovative ways of thinking about acting.

Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
    Playing philosophy
    The discontents of the acting studio

Chapter 1: Am I ACTING?
    True for who(m)?
    Beyond boring relativism
    What is acting?
    The ‘working’ actor
    Art and craft
    The abstract thing beyond technique
    The beautiful actor
    Summary
Chapter 2: What Was I Thinking?
    ‘Conscious’ performance
    The actor and the ‘swing thought’
    Who am I anyway?
    Monkeys, mirrors, peanuts…
    Getting the trope/thought right
    Summary
Chapter 3: How Am I Feeling
    The neutral walk
    Emotion and imagination
    Like the town of Brigadoon. . .
    Duse was a woman
    ‘Mindblindness’
    From ‘embodied thinking’ to ‘display’
    From primary to social
    Summary
Chapter 4: What Were YOU Thinking?
    Getting out of our heads…
    The psychological toy box
    So many psychologies
    Where do we start?
    Psychology and survival
    Rational actors
    Summary
Chapter 5: Where Am I?
    Actors are not green
    So you want to be a selective quasi-amnesiac?
    The Orient(al) Express(iveness)
    Conclusion

Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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