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The Actor, Image, and Action: Acting and Cognitive Neuroscience [Paperback]

Rhonda Blair

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Book Description

Jan. 24 2008 0415774179 978-0415774178 1

The Actor, Image and Action is a 'new generation' approach to the craft of acting; the first full-length study of actor training using the insights of cognitive neuroscience. In a brilliant reassessment of both the practice and theory of acting, Rhonda Blair examines the physiological relationship between bodily action and emotional experience. In doing so she provides the latest step in Stanislavsky's attempts to help the actor 'reach the unconscious by conscious means'.

Recent developments in scientific thinking about the connections between biology and cognition require new ways of understanding many elements of human activity, including:

  • imagination
  • emotion
  • memory
  • physicality
  • reason.

The Actor, Image and Action looks at how these are in fact inseparable in the brain's structure and function, and their crucial importance to an actor’s engagement with a role. The book vastly improves our understanding of the actor's process and is a must for any actor or student of acting.

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Product Description


'A valuable and provocative insight in an area of thinking that is still relatively new to the field of theatre ... Rhonda Blair's work has the potential to lead toward new techniques in actor training.'Sharon Carnicke, University of Southern California, USA

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The physiology of theatrical art Feb. 20 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Based on the most recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience, the author makes a brilliant and revolutionary approach of the mechanisms involving creation and communication among theater makers.
What Stanislavski, Grotovski and Barba, among others, advocated as a "pre-expressive level of the physical life of the scene" is scaled by Blair's amazing and sensitive confrontation of art and science, physicality and imagination, memory and imitation, and so forth.
You will need to read this book many times to understand its dimension and relevance to the study of theater and performance arts.
I suggest devoting particular attention to the process of action of the so called "mirror neurons" where Shakespeare's advise to the actors through Hamlet's words is finally explained: the role of art as a mirror of life.
Renato Icarahy - Theatre director and Professor at UNIRIO University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating and invaluable information May 3 2014
By David C. Farmer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Totally chock full of useful information about the latest in scientific understanding as it relates to the art and craft of acting on stage and in media. The appendix on translation alone is worth the price of admission.

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