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Instant Shakespeare: A Proven Technique for Actors, Directors, and Teachers

Instant Shakespeare: A Proven Technique for Actors, Directors, and Teachers

Louis Fantasia

ISBN: 9781566635035

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What do the Dead Sea Scrolls and frog overlays have to do with performing Shakespeare? They're both part of Louis Fantasia's approach in Instant Shakespeare. Mr. Fantasia, the first American to direct at the Shakespeare Globe Centre and a distinguished member of the international theatre community, has developed a pragmatic and uniquely American performance technique. Expanded and refined in performances and workshops throughout the world, Instant Shakespeare allows performers, directors, and teachers of all cultures and levels of experience to demystify Shakespeare and perform his texts in ways that are clear, fresh, and unpretentious. Mr. Fantasia's methods are solidly grounded in a rigorous analysis of the text and structure of Shakespeare's plays, and enriched by his insight into Elizabethan performance practices gleaned from his intimate association with the reconstruction of the Globe. Through Instant Shakespeare, novices and professionals alike achieve the textual clarity, nuanced characters, and dynamic actions that drive the most vigorous Shakespearean performances. Mr. Fantasia's respectful but irreverent approach pinpoints the shortcomings of contemporary Shakespeare practice and training, particularly generic and postmodern interpretations, and confronts theatre artists with the importance of conscious personal responsibility for the creative process. Employing analogies from music and architecture, he insists upon the hard and sometimes tedious work that necessarily underlies solid artistic choices. Mr. Fantasia shows how to understand Shakespeare's vocabulary as well as the structure and essential dramatic event of each play. He provides exercise monologues, exercise scenes, and tools for textual analysis; explains correct breathing; and lays out his philosophies of training and performance.
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