1st Edition

Fiction's Truth
The Consequence of Representing Human Suffering, Distress, and Violence in Performance

ISBN 9781138593541
Published June 24, 2019 by Routledge
144 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Fiction’s Truth explores professional actors’ lived experiences of representing human suffering, distress, and violence.

The book analyses the struggles, issues, and transformations professional actors face when dealing with these portrayals of human life; the personal and interpersonal consequences – both taxing and rewarding – they experience while undertaking these representations; and the forms of attention and care they use to limit the costs and maximize the rewards of their work. The author also includes new key terminology, proposing the term dolesse to capture the experiences of representing human suffering, distress, and violence.

Written for entertainment professionals, acting students, and scholars with an interest in acting, theatre, film, and television, Fiction’s Truth addresses the challenges of representing dolesse on stage and in front of the camera, acknowledges the importance of health and wellness in the entertainment industry, and helps remove the stigma that surrounds the consequences these representations often have for actors.

Table of Contents

Author's Note


1. Introduction  

2. The Study 

3. Setting the Stage - and Screen 

4. Intertwined Realities 

5. Intense Emotions and Lingerings 

6. Reflections on Intense Emotions and Lingerings 

7. Personal, Interpersonal, and Structural Forms of Attention and Care 

8. Moving Forward 

9. Breaking the Four Walls 

10. In the End


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Danielle I. Szlawieniec-Haw is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, producer, and acting consultant. She has appeared on stage and on-screen, written feature films - as well as hours of television for networks such as A & E, W, CBC. and Discovery ID - and developed projects for production companies throughout Canada and the US. She holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from York University.