In this innovative take on a neglected chapter of film history, Peter Stanfield challenges the commonly held view of the singing cowboy as an ephemeral figure of fun and argues instead that he was one of the most important cultural figures to emerge out of the Great Depression.
The rural or newly urban working-class families who flocked to see the latest exploits of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, and
other singing cowboys were an audience largely ignored by mainstream
Hollywood film. Hard hit by the depression, faced with the threat--and often the reality--of dispossession and dislocation, pressured to adapt to new ways of living, these small-town filmgoers saw their ambitions, fantasies, and desires embodied in the singing cowboy and their social and political circumstances dramatized in "B" Westerns.
Stanfield traces the singing cowboy's previously uncharted roots in the performance tradition of blackface minstrelsy and its literary antecedents in dime novels, magazine fiction, and the novels of B. M. Bower, showing how silent cinema conventions, the developing commercial music media, and the prevailing conditions of film production shaped the "horse opera" of the 1930s. Cowboy songs offered an alternative to the disruptive modern effects of jazz music, while the series Western--tapping into aesthetic principles shunned by the aspiring middle class--emphasized stunts, fist fights, slapstick comedy, disguises, and hidden identities over narrative logic and character psychology. Singing cowboys also linked recording, radio, publishing, live performance, and film media.
Entertaining and thought-provoking, Horse Opera recovers not only the forgotten cowboys of the 1930s but also their forgotten audiences: the ordinary men and women
Blumenfeld convincingly argues that the basic techniques of acting apply whether the actor is performing onstage or in a sound studio. Numerous practice exercises help the actor to speak the words of a text that can be enhanced by the varying sounds of the human voice.
In 1953, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot premiered at a tiny avant-garde theatre in Paris; within five years, it had been translated into more than twenty languages and seen by more than a million spectators. Its startling popularity marked the emergence of a new type of theatre whose proponents--Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, and others--shattered dramatic conventions and paid scant attention to psychological realism, while highlighting their characters' inability to understand one another. In 1961, Martin Esslin gave a name to the phenomenon in his groundbreaking study of these playwrights who dramatized the absurdity at the core of the human condition.Over four decades after its initial publication, Esslin's landmark book has lost none of its freshness. The questions these dramatists raise about the struggle for meaning in a purposeless world are still as incisive and necessary today as they were when Beckett's tramps first waited beneath a dying tree on a lonely country road for a mysterious benefactor who would never show. Authoritative, engaging, and eminently readable, The Theatre of the Absurd is nothing short of a classic: vital reading for anyone with an interest in the theatre.
Your one-stop classical workshop At last, over 175 of Shakespeare's finest and most performable monologues taken from all thirty-seven plays are here in two easy-to-use volumes (Men and Women). Selections travel the entire spectrum of the great dramatist's vision, from comedies, wit and romances, to tragedies, pathos and histories. Soliloquy is an excellent and comprehensive collection of Shakespeare's speeches. Not only are the monologues wide-ranging and varied, but they are superbly annotated. Each volume is prefaced by an informative and reassuring introduction, which explains the signals and signposts by which Shakespeare helps the actor on his journey through the text. It includes a very good explanation of blank verse, with excellent examples of irregularities which are specifically related to character and acting intentions. These two books are a must for any actor in search of a 'classical' audition piece.'- Elizabeth Smith, Voice Director, Juilliard
Winner of the Nobel PrizeThis edition includes Anna Christie, The Emperor Jones, and The Hairy Ape three classic plays of uncontested power from the Nobel laureate and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for drama. In Anna Christie, a sailor reunites with his estranged daughter after years apart. As she begins to fall in love with a younger sailor, she realizes she must come clean to her father and her new love interest and reveal her troubled past. In The Emperor Jones, African American fugitive, Brutus Jones, recounts his life through a series of flashbacks as he runs from rebelling subjects through a West Indies Jungle, showing just how he came to rule over a small island, and his eventual downfall. In The Hairy Ape, O'Neil explores class and identity as he follows the existential crisis of Yank, an engine worker for an ocean liner. After being called a beast from the daughter of a rich industrialist, Yank realizes he has no place in modern society, or even a class he can call his own. William Faulkner, Philip Roth, Alice Munro, Thomas Mann, Doris Lessing, Albert Camus, V.S. Naipaul, Gabriel Garc a M rquez, Salman Rushdie, Joan Didion, and Cormac McCarthy, among many others: Vintage International is devoted to publishing the best writing of the past century from the world over. Offering both classic and modern fiction and literary nonfiction in elegant editions, Vintage International aims to provide readers with world-class writing that has stood the test of time and essential works by the preeminent authors of today.
In Casting Directors' Secrets, casting directors from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Vancouver offer insight in their own words into the do's and don'ts of the audition process and reveal the three biggest mistakes made by actors at this crucial stage. The book offers instruction in these areas and more: How to get the audition - training and preparation, headshots and resume, finding an agent, auditioning for agents; audition/interview etiquette - being late, canceling your appointment, waiting room do's and don'ts, staying focused, filling out the paperwork, behavior toward other actors; bad habits - perfume and cologne, first impressions, don't look for the casting couch , you and your ego, brown-nosing, tell the truth but not the whole truth; artistic preparation - what your agent should tell you, working with sides, eye contact and the fourth wall, ice-cold readings; performing the audition - rewriting the dialogue, false starts, losing your place, violence in audition scenes (don't make it too real ); growing as an actor - taking risks, attending classes, maintaining the momentum; and more
(Limelight). "Pennington's great experience of the play...love for it...depth of knowledge...of many productions and interpretations culminate in a book of infinite value to any actor, director and above all to any passionate playgoer...written with passion, humor and rigor...an excellent read." Ralph Fiennes
"At last, an in-depth book about the casting process that tells actors what it is like to be on the other side of the desk, and a must read for the aspiring casting director " -Marilyn Henry, coauthor, How to Be a Working Actor