The Physical Actor: Exercises for Action and Awareness (Paperback) book cover

The Physical Actor

Exercises for Action and Awareness

By Annie Loui

© 2009 – Focal Press

216 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415466745
pub: 2009-04-23
Hardback: 9780415466738
pub: 2009-04-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203881767
pub: 2009-05-07
from $37.95

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The Physical Actor is a comprehensive book of actor’s exercises, designed for the development of a strong and flexible physical body able to move with ease through space and interact instinctively on-stage.

Annie Loui draws on her training with Etienne Decroux, Carolyn Carlson and Jerzy Grotowski to bring Contact Improvization into the theatrical sphere and explain how it can be used to work with texts and applied directly to the theatrical stage.

This book will guide the reader through a full course of movement skills, from daily warm-up to:

  • partnering skills
  • spatial awareness for groups and individuals
  • fine motor control through mime
  • heightened co-ordination and sustained motion.


'The Physical Actor might well be titled "Actor as Dancer", so choroegraphically honed are its descriptions and analyses. At once manual and survey, the book is an engaging and inclusive overview of body techniques and their emotional connotations. In its specificity and precision, The Physical Actor is an essential resource for anyone who aspires to act or move.'Yvonne Rainer

'This gem of a book is a must-have for actors who are searching for the right tools to unlock their body’s full potential.'Jen Colella, actress

'Annie Loui is the real deal. I love her insights into the craft and her reminders of why we do this and why the physical work is important to the actor.'Elliot Fox, Managing Director, Primary Stages

'Loui shows actors something new: how to listen with their bodies. An indispensable book.'Richard Brestoff, actor and author

About the Author

Annie Loui works as a director/choreographer and creator of new media performance. She teaches Movement for Actors for the professional training program at the University of California, Irvine.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Acting & Auditioning
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / General