Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Shakespeare & Company

When Action is Eloquence, 1st Edition

By Bella Merlin, Tina Packer


328 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367262556
pub: 2020-04-22
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Shakespeare & Company is the first comprehensive insight into this internationally acclaimed company founded in 1978 in Lenox, Massachusetts, by actor-director Tina Packer and voice pioneer Kristin Linklater, with the transformative power of Shakespeare’s language at its heart.

Why act Shakespeare? What’s his relevance in the twenty-first century? Compelling answers to these questions lie at the center of this highly accessible journey into Shakespeare & Company’s aesthetics and practice. Drawing on hitherto unpublished material – including notebooks, lectures, interviews, rehearsal diaries – and the Company’s newly collated archive, this book provides insight into a working theatre company and sheds light on the role Shakespeare plays in our modern world. It also details:

  • Shakespeare & Company’s founding and early history
  • Its aesthetic based on the Elizabethan theatre’s principles of the Art of Rhetoric; Structure of the Verse; Voice and Movement; Clown; Fight; and Actor/Audience Relationship
  • Vocational components of its Training intensives
  • Practical pedagogy of its Education programs
  • Insights into its unique approaches to Performance
  • Impact and legacy of its three lifetime founding members: Dennis Krausnick (Director of Training), Kevin G. Coleman (Director of Education) and Tina Packer (founding artistic director).

Actors, directors, students, educators, scholars and theatre-lovers alike will find practical acting strategies, inspirational approaches to theatre making and lively insights into the sustaining of a unique and robust theatre company that has been thriving for over forty years.

Table of Contents

ACT I: HISTORY AND ROOTS 1. Visions and Revisions: The Company is Formed2. Bricks and Mortar, Trellis and Trees: An Aesthetic is Realized 3. Talk #1: Function of the Theatre ACT II: TRAINING 4. Evolution and Influences of the Month-Long Intensive 5. Talk #2: Actor/Audience Relationship 6. Voice Work & Basics 7. Text Work & Dropping In 8. Body Work & Bringing It All Together ACT III: EDUCATION 9. Practical Pedagogy 10. Shakespeare-in-the-Schools 11. Shakespeare on the Campus 12. Shakespeare-in-the-Courts ACT IV: PERFORMANCE 13. The Art Form of Performance 14. Talk #3: Theatre, Therapy and Theology 15. Cymbeline: A Performance Case Study Appendix 1: Production History: A Work in ProgressAppendix 2: An Abridged Dramatis Personae Appendix 3: A Potted Plot of Cymbeline

About the Authors

Bella Merlin is an actor, professor of acting at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of six books on acting, including The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit and Facing the Fear: An Actor’s Guide to Overcoming Stage Fright.

Tina Packer is the multi-award-winning founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, and has acted and/or directed all of Shakespeare’s plays as well as touring her original take on Shakespeare’s women, Women of Will. Her book of the same name was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / Shakespeare
PERFORMING ARTS / Acting & Auditioning
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Stagecraft