Tag Archive: michael shurtleff

Feb 05

Respect for Acting

I’m currently nursing an intense headache while trying to come up with a curriculum for the acting class that I intend to teach in the spring.

 

To do this, I’ve pulled my Uta Hagan off the shelf and have started flipping through her acting exercises.

 

It’s amazing how much she and the also-late Michael Shurtleff (only found out today they’ve both died since I left Canada) influenced the way I thought about acting and Theatre.

 

What they wrote about is still useful for actors, even outside the context of film or the well-made play, but I think those ways of thinking hobbled me for a while as a Theatre-maker.  Actors should all be able to work technically, but playwrights and directors who focus solely on technique are limiting themselves.

 

My class will be a technical acting class, because I do think that’s where actors should start.  After learning how to play, they need to buckle down and learn discipline in their craft.  A lot of classes, especially here, where they are targeted at people who just want to have fun, neglect the discipline and concentrate instead on entertaining the students at the expense of education.

 

Anyway, I should stop trying to write this, and get back to my curriculum…