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Performance Studies

Routledge Performance Practitioners

Edited by Franc Chamberlain, University College Northampton, UK
Each compact, well-illustrated Routledge Performance Practitioner volume is carefully structured to enable readers to gain a good grasp of the key elements underpinning each practitioner's work. The books explore both theory and practice and are clearly organized in four sections, covering:

• personal biography
• explanation of key writings
• description of significant productions
• reproduction of practical exercises.

Each volume concludes with a full bibliography and index. As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are unbeatable value for today's student. They provide handy guides for students on twentieth-century theatre, contemporary theatre and theatre history courses.
What makes the series unique?

• The focus on practice and the section on exercises ensure that students learn interpretive skills to read key texts but, importantly, they also provide an inspiration for students' own theatre practice.
• Each volume is written by an academic who is also a maker of performance and who recognizes the importance of learning performance through practice.

Series Editor: Franc Chamberlain is a Senior Lecturer in Performance Studies at University College Northampton, UK. He is series editor for Routledge Performance Practitioners, author of Michael Chekhov in that series, and former editor of Contemporary Theatre Review and Contemporary Theatre Studies.

Michael Chekhov

Franc Chamberlain, University College Northampton, UK

Michael Chekhov was Stanislaysky's star student and a master acting teacher. Exiled from Soviet Russia, he made his way to Britain - and then to the United States, spending his last years as an actor and acting teacher in Hollywood. Along the way he introduced countless students to his acting technique known most famously for its 'psychological gesture'. Michael Chekhov's unique approach to and lasting impact on actor training are only now beginning to be fully appreciated. This volume provides, for the first time, a fully comprehensive introduction to:

• his life and times
•his most notable productions
• his classic writings
• his practical exercises, including many unavailable elsewhere.

Invigorating and insightful, the volume will help students to engage their imaginations and understand this fascinating man and his work.

September 2003: 198x 129: 168pp: illus. 7 b+w photographs hb: 0-415-25877-4: Pb: 0-415-25878-2:

Vsevolod Meyerhold

Jonathan Pitches, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Vsevolod Meyerhold is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the Russian theatre, noted for the richness and diversity of his work and his fascination with the grotesque. In this compact volume, Jonathan Pitches traces Meyerhold's development through his experiments with realism, symbolism, constructivism and futurism and follows the political pressures, which forced his decline and silence as an artist. Pitches brings together for the first time:

•a biographical introduction to Meyerhold's life
•a clear explanation of his theoretical writings
•an analysis of his masterpiece production Revisor, or The Government Inspector
•a comprehensive and useable description of the 'biomechanical' exercises he developed for actor training.

August 2003: 198x129: 176pp: illus. 13 b+w photographs hb: 0-415-25883-9: Pb: 0-415-25884-7:

Konstantin Stanislaysky

Bella Merlin, University of Birmingham, UK

Stanislaysky, undisputed pioneer of modern acting technique, continues to form the backbone of much drama teaching, actor training and theatre practice. Yet many of his ideas remain either elusive or misunderstood. This concise and readable book assesses and explains:

•his influence and life history
•ground plans and theatre direction plans
• his widely-read text An Actor Prepares.

It also gives both a detailed commentary of the key 1898 production of The Seagull and an indispensable set of practical exercises for actors, teachers and directors. It will prove invaluable for readers new to Stanislaysky while also giving some fascinating new insights to those familiar with his work.

September 2003: 198x129: 184pp: illus. 9 b&w photographs and 9 groundplans and theatre direction plans.
Hb: 0-415-25885-5:
Pb: 0-415-25886-3:

Jacques Lecoq

Simon Murray, University of Sunderland, UK

Lecoq's influence on the theatre of the latter half of the twentieth century cannot be overestimated. In
Jacques Lecoq Simon Murray explains how Lecoq came to acting from sports, encouraging a focus on the physical rather than the psychological. He explains his techniques and looks at the work of companies created by Lecoq trained actors. This is the first book to combine

•an historical introduction to his life and the context in which he worked
•an analysis of his teaching methods and principles of body work, movement, creativity and contemporary theatre
•detailed studies of the work of Théâtre de Complicité and Mummenschanz
• practical exercises demonstrating Lecoq's distinctive approach to actor training.

September 2003: 198x129: 200pp Hb:0-415-25881-2:
Pb: 0-415-25882-0: