Higher Education

Acting is Believing, 12th Edition

  • Kenneth L. Stilson Southeast Missouri State University
  • Larry D. Clark University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Charles McGaw Late of the Goodman School of Drama, a School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • ISBN-10: 1285465059  |  ISBN-13: 9781285465050
  • 352 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2009, 2007
  • © 2015 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $127.25
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About

Overview

Emphasizing that "an actor must believe to make his audience believe," ACTING IS BELIEVING remains one of the classic texts that continues to set the standard in the field for actors in the twenty-first century. Charles McGaw and Larry D. Clark's earlier editions influenced generations of actors, and this Twelfth Edition has once again been completely updated by Kenneth Stilson to inspire future acting professionals. An expanded and updated theoretical grounding and numerous new and revised exercises help acting student apply the key concepts of a Stanislavski-based training program as interpreted through the eyes of today's artists. The final chapter helps students "get the job" by discussing the latest approaches to auditioning, marketing, and surviving in the competitive theatre industry.

Features and Benefits

  • ACTING IS BELIEVING walks students through an easy-to-learn three-part structure: The Actor, The Actor and The Play, and The Actor and The Production. The acting theory remains grounded in Stanislavski-based training, while evolving to speak to today's students pursuing careers in theatre, film, and television.
  • Modified, updated, and new exercises keep this classic text on the cutting edge of today's actor training.
  • Because today's students are such visual learners, 30 percent of the photographs and captions, as well as the visual elements, have been updated as customary with recent editions of the text.
  • The popular appendix, "Learning the Lingo," serves as a quick reference guide for students and has been reinstated into the textbook. The other two appendices, "Theatre Web Links" and "Suggested Scene Study for Undergraduate Actors," remain online to serve as references.
  • The important Chapter 12, "Preparing Undirected Scene Study," helps synthesize technique training in most acting classes. Student feedback on this section is uniformly positive: they found it to be helpful, straightforward, greatly needed, and yet unique from other acting books.
  • Chapter 13, "Getting the Job," discusses the very latest approaches to auditioning, marketing, and surviving the competitive theatre industry to help students get a job in theatre.

Table of Contents

Preface.
Part I: THE ACTOR.
1. Training Your Talent.
2. Approaching the Creative State.
3. Discovering Physical Actions.
4. Defining Simple Objectives.
5. Developing Your Powers of Observation.
6. Exploring Circles of Attention.
7. Investigating the Subconscious.
Part II: THE ACTOR AND THE PLAY.
8. Creating a Character.
9. Interpreting the Lines.
10. Communicating the Subtext.
Part III: THE ACTOR AND THE PRODUCTION.
11. Transforming into Character.
12. Preparing Undirected Scene Study.
13. Getting the Job.
Endnotes.
Appendix.
Bibliography.
Index.

What's New

  • Acting theory has been clarified and updated throughout the text.
  • Existing exercises have been modified and edited, and new exercises have been added to keep the text current and relevant to today's students.
  • A majority of the published monologues as well as many of the references have been replaced to help clarify theoretical material.
  • More than thirty percent of the photographs and visual elements have been updated.
  • The popular appendix, "Learning the Lingo," has been completely revised, expanded, and reinstated into the text to serve as a quick reference guide for students.
  • Chapter 2, "Approaching the Creative State," has been streamlined to make it more practical to use as part of the nightly transformation process from self to character.
  • Chapter 7, "Investigating the Subconscious," has been completely rewritten and expanded to further enhance clarity.
  • Because the business of theatre is constantly evolving, Chapter 13, "Getting the Job," has been updated to discuss the latest approaches to auditioning, marketing, and surviving in the competitive theatre industry.

Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

"The organization of the book is very strong. I like the order of the chapters because I believe they present the material from basic information to more specific information."

— James R. Hartman, Schoolcraft College

"The physical and vocal work in Chapter Two is excellent and provides a great roadmap for the student to work on their own, or in class."

— Daniel Yurgaitis, Northern State University

"This is an excellent book to introduce [students] to the study of acting beyond the basics of being comfortable on stage. . . . This text grabs the student's attention with its layout, photos, and examples. It is well-structured for understanding the process of acting. It is easily readable with strong application exercises."

— Joann S. Kaiser, Indiana University-Kokomo

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Kenneth L. Stilson

Kenneth L. Stilson is a Professor of Acting, Directing, and Musical Theatre and former Founding Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance in The Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts at Southeast Missouri State University. As a director, writer, or actor, he has worked in such theatres as the Lincoln Center (New York City), American Academy of Dramatic Art/Hudson Theatre (Los Angeles), Southern Repertory Theatre (New Orleans), Le Petite Theatre (New Orleans), Alabama Lyric Theatre, Stage West Theatre (Ft. Worth), Shakespeare in the Park (Ft. Worth), First Run Theatre (St. Louis), and Missouri's Summer Repertory Theatre. He has also been involved in the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival and the Mississippi Shakespeare Festival. Over the past 28 years at various institutions, Stilson has directed and trained hundreds of actors, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in film, television, and stage, winning several Tony and Obie Awards. He has written numerous award-winning plays and screenplays, as well as published a biography and a range of national and international articles on acting and theatre. Stilson holds both a Ph.D. and M.A. in Theatre from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he studied under the tutelage of Larry D. Clark.

Larry D. Clark

Larry Clark is currently Professor and Dean Emeritus at University of Missouri. He joined the faculty in 1966 as an Assistant Professor of Speech and Dramatic Art. In 1988, after a distinguished career as a teacher of acting and directing, during which he directed dozens of plays, both with his students and for the University of Missouri professional Summer Repertory Theatre, Clark was selected as Dean of College of Arts and Science. During his career as a Professor of Theatre, Clark was active on the national scene and was elected President of all three professional organizations devoted to the educational aspects of theatre. He was an exceptionally well-known figure in the American College Theatre Festival, serving as festival critic for hundreds of plays during its first 20 years. The plays he mounted covered a broad range of dramatic literature from the classics to Sam Shepard. His production of Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" was particularly praised. It starred one of Clark's young students, Tom Moore, who went on to establish a distinguished motion picture career as the popular actor, Tom Berenger. Berenger leads a long list of Professor Clark's former acting students who are now earning their living in motion pictures, the theatre, or both.