Style for Actors : A Handbook for Moving Beyond Realism book cover
3rd Edition

Style for Actors
A Handbook for Moving Beyond Realism

ISBN 9780367186104
Published December 31, 2020 by Routledge
434 Pages 123 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Style for Actors is an award-winning handbook and the definitive guide to roles in historical drama. Anyone who has ever struggled with capes, fans, swords, doublets and crinolines should make this third edition their constant companion.

The past is a foreign country, and this outstanding book is concerned with exploring it from the actor's point of view. Specific guides to each major period give readers a clear map to discover a range from Greek, Elizabethan, Restoration and Georgian theatre to more contemporary stylings, including Futurism, Surrealism and Postmodernism. New material in this edition covers Commedia dell'arte and non-Western forms of theatre, theatrical fusion and developments in musicals and Shakespeare. The book’s references, images, resource lists and examples have all been updated to support today's diverse performers.

Robert Barton takes great care to present the actor with the roles and genres that will most commonly confront them. Containing a huge resource of nearly 150 exercises, suggestions for scene study and applications not only for theatrical performance but also for stylistic challenges in the reader’s own offstage life, this book is an invaluable resource for students and practitioners of acting and drama.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Finding Style  1. Recognizing Style: The eyes of the beholder  2. Analyzing Style: Survival questions  3. Mastering Style: The classical actor  Part 2: Achieving Style  4. Greek Period Sytle: Three generations of tragic vision  5. Elizabethan Period Style: Theatre of earth and stars  6. Restoration Period Style: Decadence as one of the fine arts  7. Relatives of Restoration Period Style: Morals, manner and madness  Part 3: Exploring Style  8. Fusion Style: Imagination and innovation  9. Global Style: Worldwide influence and invention  10. Personal Style: Creating reality  Appendices

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Robert Barton is the author of Acting: Onstage and Off and Acting Reframes, co-author of Voice: Onstage and Off, Movement: Onstage and Off, Theatre in Your Life and Life Themes, and editor and adaptor of The Craft of Comedy. His seminal essay "Creative Acting" appears in Creativity in Theatre. His works aim to help readers move beyond acting in theatre to use it to more effectively act their own lives.


"Excellent scholarship presents and wealth of information for actors interested in how to approach plays of different periods and styles." - Dawn Arnold, Northern Illinois University, USA