The Actor Training Reader  book cover
1st Edition

The Actor Training Reader

Edited By


ISBN 9780415824026
Published April 7, 2015 by Routledge
260 Pages

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Book Description

The Actor Training Reader is an invaluable resource for students and teachers of acting, offering access to a wide range of key texts that identify, explore, illuminate and interrogate the challenges, practices and processes involved in training the modern actor. 


A companion volume to the highly-acclaimed Actor Training (Hodge 2010), this book collects key writings by influential actor training practitioners of the twentieth century, introduced with essays from leading academics in the field of actor training. Key practitioners included are:


Eugenio Barba;

Anne Bogart;

Bertolt Brecht;

Peter Brook;

Michael Chekhov; and

Konstantin Stanislavsky.


The book sets established, widely used texts alongside less well-known ones in order to trace the development of actor training from the pioneering advances of Eastern Europe to the acting games of Augusto Boal. The texts are grouped into thematic sections rather than chronologically in order to encourage a comparison of different approaches to similar aspects of the craft. Each section will have a specially commissioned introductory essay by an expert in that area of actor training, which will bring context, critical engagement and contemporary relevance to the extracts and offer provocations for further discussion.

Table of Contents


Mark Evans, Coventry University, UK.


Jacques Copeau: Rudlin, J. & Paul, N. (eds.) (1990) Copeau: Texts on Theatre

Konstantin Stanislavsky: Stanislavski, C. (1980) My Life in Art


The Purpose of Actor Training

Ian Watson, Rutgers University, USA.


Mike Alfreds: Alfreds, M. (2007) Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor

Eugenio Barba: Barba, E. (1979) The Floating Islands

Augusto Boal: Boal, A. (1995) The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal method of theatre and therapy

Michael Chekhov: Chekhov, M. (1985) Lessons for the Professional Actor

Edward Gordon Craig: Craig, E. G. (1983) Craig On Theatre

Jerzy Grotowski: Grotowski, J. (1997) 'Performer', in Schechner, R. & Wolford, L. (eds.) (1997) The Grotowski Sourcebook,

Jacques Lecoq: Lecoq, J. (2000) The Moving Body: Teaching creative theatre

Yoshi Oida: Oida, Y. & Marshall, L. (1997) The Invisible Actor

Konstantin Stanislavsky: Stanislavski, K. (2008) An Actor’s Work


Training the Actor’s Voice and Body

Jonathan Pitches, University of Leeds, UK.


Antonin Artaud: Artaud, A. (1970) The Theatre and its Double

Eugenio Barba: Barba, B. (1986) Beyond the Floating Islands

Augusto Boal: Boal, A. (2002) Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Moshe Feldenkrais: Feldenkrais, M. & Schechner, R. (1966) ‘Image, Movement, and Actor: Restoration of Potentiality - A discussion of the Feldenkrais Method and Acting, Self-Expression and the Theater’

Dario Fo and Franca Rame: Fo, D. & Rame, F. (1983) Theatre Workshops at the Riverside Studios

Jerzy Grotowski: Grotowski, J. (1969) Towards a Poor Theatre

Rudolf Laban: McCaw, D. (ed.) The Laban Sourcebook

Jacques Lecoq: Lecoq, J. (2006) Theatre of movement and gesture

Kristin Linklater: Linklater, K. (1976) Freeing the Natural Voice

Vsevolod Meyerhold: Bruan, E. (1969) Meyerhold on Theatre

Michel Saint-Denis: Saint-Denis, M. (1982) Training for the Theatre

Tadashi Suzuki: Suzuki, T. (1986) The Way of Acting: The theatre writings of Tadashi Suzuki

Yevgeny Vakhtangov: Malaev-Babel, A. (ed.) (2011) The Vakhtangov Sourcebook

Phillip Zarrilli: Zarrilli, P. (2009) Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural approach after Stanislavski


Character and Composition

The Self and the Fictive Other in Creation, Rehearsal and Performance

Bella Merlin, University of California, Riverside, USA.


Stella Adler: Adler, S. The Art of Acting (2000)

Eugenio Barba: Barba, E. (2010) On Directing and Dramaturgy: Burning the House

Anne Bogart and Tina Landau: Bogart, A. & Landau, T. (2005) The Viewpoints Book

Bertolt Brecht: Willett, J. (ed.) (1978) Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic

Michael Chekhov: Chekhov, M. (2002) To The Actor

Dario Fo: Fo, D. (1991) The Tricks of the Trade

Jacques Lecoq: Lecoq, J. (2000) The Moving Body

Sanford Meisner: Meisner, S. & Longwell, D. (1987) Sanford Meisner on Acting

Odin: Christoffersen, E. E. (1993) The Actor’s Way,

Open Theatre: Pasolli, R. (1972) A book on the Open Theatre

Konstantion Stanislavsky: Stanislavski, K. (2008) An Actor’s Work


Presence, Physicality, Play and Communion

Dick McCaw, Royal Holloway University, UK.


Peter Brook: Brook, P. (1993) There Are No Secrets: Thoughts on Acting and Theatre

Joseph Chaikin: Chaikin, J. (1991) The Presence of the Actor

Jacques Copeau: Rudlin, J. & Paul, N. (eds.) (1990) Copeau: Texts on Theatre

Philippe Gaulier: Gaulier, P. (2006) The Tormentor: le jeu, light, theatre

Keith Johnstone: Johnstone, K. (1981) Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre

Jacques Lecoq: Lecoq, J. (2006) Theatre of Movement and Gesture

Joan Littlewood: 'Working with Joan: Theatre Workshop actors talking to Tom Milne and Clive Goodwin'

Ariane Mnouchkine: extracts from: Féral, J., Mnouchkine, A. & Husemoller, A. (1989) ‘Building up the Muscle: An Interview with Ariane Mnouchkine’

Wlodzimierz Staniewski: Staniewski, W. with Hodge, A. (2004) Hidden Territories: the theatre of gardzienice

Ruth Zaporah: Zaporah, R. (1995) Action Theater: The improvisation of presence


Yoshi Oida: Oida, Y. & Marshall, L. (1997) The Invisible Actor


Mark Evans, Coventry University, UK

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Mark Evans is Professor of Theatre Training and Associate Dean at Coventry University. He researches actor training and theatre education. He has published books on movement training for actors and on the work of Jacques Copeau, written several articles on theatre training, and is an Associate Editor for the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal published by Routledge.


'There’s plenty here for any serious student needing to get to grips with the theory and would make an excellent accessible starting point for anyone hungry for information but as yet not quite ready for any single practitioner’s complete oeuvre.' - Susan Elkin, The Stage