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Acting Shakespeare is Outrageous!

Book Description

Performing the work of William Shakespeare can be daunting to new actors. Author Herb Parker posits that his work is played easier if actors think of the plays as happening out of outrageous situations, and remember just how non-realistic and presentational Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be performed. The plays are driven by language and the spoken word, and the themes and plots are absolutely out of the ordinary and fantastic—the very definition of outrageous. With exercises, improvisations, and coaching points, Acting Shakespeare is Outrageous! helps actors use the words Shakespeare wrote as a tool to perform him, and to create exciting and moving performances.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Prologue: What You Most Affect
    1. Let the Earth O’erflow
    2. So What Do I Mean, Really, by “Outrageous”?
    3. And What Do I Mean by “Caused by Love”?
    4. How Does “Outrageous” Apply to Playing Shakespeare?
    5. What You Will Find Here
    6. Before We Begin …
  9. Act One: Shaksper Your BFF
    1. Who He was, What He Did, and What That Means for Us Actors
    2. Shakespeare’s Theatre
      1. The Elizabethan Stage
      2. Shakespeare’s Audience
    3. The Actor’s Task
      1. All Women’s Roles Played by Boys
      2. Scrolls, No Scripts!
    4. Shaksper’s “Outrageous” Plays
      1. The Comedies
      2. The Histories
      3. The Tragedies
      4. The Romances
    5. Summary: What This Means for Your Acting
  10. Act Two: Holding Up Mirrors
    1. Shakespeare as a Cold Read
    2. Lessons Introduction
    3. Warm-up
    4. Lesson 1: Doing
      1. Exercise 1: Howl
      2. Exercise 2: Sing
      3. Exercise 3: Don’t Think About It
      4. Exercise 4: Hop, Kneel Crawl, and Hug!
      5. Exercise 5: Wrestle, Kick, Speak!
      6. Exercise 6: You Are Being Chased
      7. Exercise 7: Every Line is a New Discovery
      8. Exercise 8: Become the Words
    5. Lesson 2: Verse
      1. Exercise 9: Write It in Prose
      2. Exercise 10: Tear the Words!
      3. Exercise 11: Hang Your Verse
      4. Exercise 12: Verb to Verb
    6. Lesson 3: Sound
      1. Exercise 13: Gobbledygook
      2. Exercise 14: “Duh, Hell-oh, F—k!”
    7. Lesson 4: Emotion
      1. Exercise 15: In-Motion, Not E-Motion
      2. Exercise 16: My Cat is Dead
      3. Exercise 17: The Last Line Six Times
      4. Exercise 18: Grow from the Ground Up
      5. Exercise 19: Roll on the Floor
      6. Exercise 20: Dueling Shakespeare
    8. Summary
  11. Act Three: Words, Words, Words!
    1. Thou and You
    2. The Poetry That Doesn’t Rhyme
    3. The Joys of Iambic Pentameter
      1. Shared Lines
      2. A Feminine Ending
      3. More Tools from Shakespeare’s Arsenal
      4. Scansion in Action
    4. Rhymed Verse and Couplets: A Poet and Do Know It
    5. Sonnets
      1. Exercise 21: Write a Sonnet
    6. Prose: How We Talk
    7. Dag-nabbit! Shakespeare’s Made-up Words
    8. Summary
  12. Act Four: Divers Schedules: A Few Items Picked Up Watching Actors Do Shakespeare
    1. Item 1: There is No Subtext in Shakespeare
    2. Item 2: There is Never a “Fourth Wall”
    3. Item 3: Size is About More than Being Big and Loud
    4. Item 4: Play What the Scene is Doing—Not Just What the Words Mean
    5. Item 5: Antithesis is Fighting for an Answer by Comparing Opposites
      1. Exercise 22: Play the Antithesis
    6. Item 6: Don’t Report, Make a Discovery!
    7. Item 7: Leave Your Hands Alone
    8. Item 8: Speak a Soliloquy as if Your Life Depended upon It—Because It Does
    9. Item 9: Pretty Speeches are About Blood and Guts
    10. Item 10: Paint the Picture!
      1. Exercise 23: A Pig in Slop—with the Words
    11. Item 11: Shakespeare is Too Big for Film
    12. Item 12: All Shakespearean Characters are Philosophers and Poets
  13. Postscript
  14. Glossary: A Listing of Common Shakespearean Terminology
  15. Appendix: Practice Speeches for Men and Women
  16. Recommended Reading
  17. Index