‘This book, above all else, is an attempt to explore the qualities of acting power…. to suggest to you, the actor, an approach toward not merely good acting but powerful acting. Great actors display the power to frighten – and the power to seduce – and can shift between the one and the other like a violinist can her notes.’ – From the Preface
The first edition of Acting Power was a groundbreaking work of acting theory which applied sociological and psychological principles to actor training. The book went on to influence a generation of theatre and performance studies students and academics, and has been translated and published in Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian and Romanian.
This carefully revised 21st Century Edition (re)considers, in the context of today’s field:
questions such as ‘should actors act from the inside or the outside?’ and ‘should the actor live the role or present the role?’;
contemporary research into communication theory, cybernetics, and cognitive science;
brilliantly illuminating and witty exercises for solo study and classroom use, and a through-line of useful references to classic plays;
penetrating observations about the actor’s art by more than 75 distinguished professional actors and directors.
Cohen’s elegant and rigorous updates emphasise the continuing relevance of his uniquely integrated and life-affirming approach to this field. The new edition draws on his extraordinarily rich career as teacher, scholar, director, translator and dramaturg. It is a recipe for thrilling theatre in any genre.