Higher Education

Acting: Onstage and Off, 6th Edition

  • Robert Barton University of Oregon
  • ISBN-10: 0495898864  |  ISBN-13: 9780495898863
  • 416 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006, 2003
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $114.50
  • Newer Edition Available
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ACTING: ONSTAGE AND OFF demonstrates how offstage performance can be effectively adapted for the theatre, as well as how onstage training can be applied toward leading a full life outside the theatre. Barton's humorous and conversational writing style helps students learn all phases of actor training, including scene study, auditioning, observation, and mind, voice and body relaxation techniques. The use of examples from daily life instead of dramatic literature facilitates student understanding and leads to meaningful class discussion based on everyday experiences.

Features and Benefits

  • ACTING: ONSTAGE AND OFF demonstrates how offstage performance can be effectively adapted for the theatre, as well as how onstage training can be applied toward leading a full life outside the theatre. This basic approach focuses on life experience rather than on dramatic literature for background material, and positions fundamentals such as auditioning as basic skills that can be applied in many areas of life.
  • The author uses a conversational, down-to-earth, accessible writing style, with original terms, rather than invented vocabulary, for acting concepts, and emphasizes the actor's responsibility for in-rehearsal active contribution and out-of-rehearsal exploration.
  • The text provides ample actor testimony from well-known performers, both proven veterans and successful newcomers near the ages of the students.
  • There is a clear interpretation of Stanislavski (the father of actor training as we know it) for modern readers.
  • The text includes enough exercises and approaches to allow flexible selection and adaptation. These exercises may be cut back in scope easily, and written assignments adapted into thought-discussion questions and improvisations, in those instances where a minimum of academic work is deemed appropriate.
  • The Offstage Actions provide a framework for those who intend to use this training in venues outside the theatre, and the material now includes professional skills to supplement personal ones.

Table of Contents

1. Acting Acknowledged.
2. Relaxed Readiness.
3. Individual Inventory.
4. Stanislavski's System.
5. Stanislavski Stretched.
6. Truth/Technique.
7. Scene Study.
8. Performance Process.
9. Acting Anticipated.

What's New

  • A new section called The Invaluable Thirteen expands on the original Dreaded Thirteen with pragmatic advice on preparing for and excelling at interviewing.
  • UPDATED STANISLAVSKI is the result of new publications about and translations of his works, providing recent resources for students wishing to know more about the master and his system.
  • ALTERNATIVE WARM-UPS offer a range of choices, adding a new set to the standard sequence in the text, providing variety and an exciting exercise progression.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

eBank Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 084006098X | ISBN-13: 9780840060983)

The Instructor's Manual contains sample syllabi, tips for lecture vs. lab time, sample quizzes, answer keys, and study guides for every chapter, and many teaching tips for your course. Please contact your local sales representative or Customer Service to receive this resource.

Student Supplements

Guide to Live Theatre, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 111194122X | ISBN-13: 9781111941222)

List Price = $29.00  | CengageBrain Price = $29.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $29.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Robert Barton

Robert Barton is Professor Emeritus of Acting at the University of Oregon. He has directed more than half of Shakespeare's plays and performed in most of them, including playing the title role in a PBS production of HAMLET. A prolific author, Dr. Barton has published numerous scholarly articles on acting and seven books, including VOICE: ONSTAGE AND OFF (with Rocco Dal Vera), THEATRE IN YOUR LIFE and LIFE THEMES (both with Annie McGregor), and ACTING REFRAMES. His STYLE FOR ACTORS received the Theatre Association's Best Book Award. In addition, he served as editor and adaptor of the newly revised edition of the classic text THE CRAFT OF COMEDY. The American College Theatre Festival honored Dr. Barton as Outstanding Acting Coach. He received his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University.