Theatre Biographies
'Love Me or Kill Me': Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes
'Love Me or Kill Me'
Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes
Paperback      ISBN: 0719059569

Blasted brought Sarah Kane to the theatre pages of the broadsheets, the front pages of the tabloids, and to the notice of the nation. Covers all Kane's major plays and productions, contains hitherto unpublished material and reviews, and looks at her continuing influence after her tragic early death. A chapter-by-chapter analysis looks at each play in detail and the appendices carry transcripts of interviews with colleagues and leading theatre practitioners involved with her productions. This book is the first study of the most significant British dramatist in post-war theatre and includes unpublished interview material with Sarah Kane herself.

Accidentally on Purpose
Accidentally on Purpose
Paperback      ISBN: 1557833583

An exploration into the mysteries of creativity in life and art. Powerfully written of life, families, fathers, mothers, sons, of the price of talent and the burden of fame.

The Actor Uncovered
The Actor Uncovered
Hardcover      ISBN: 1621535495
The Actor Uncovered is certainly not a set of rigid rules advocating one "method" or one singular "truth." Departing from the common guidebook format, Michael Howard uses a unique approach to teaching acting, reflecting on his own history and sharing his own experiences as an actor, director, and teacher. How he writes about the process and craft of acting is at once intensely personal and relatable by others.

Readers are invited to participate as though present in this master teacher's classes. Each human being, and thus each actor, is unique. Howard encourages actors to uncover their own ways of working, using their particular abilities and personality traits. Going beyond the craft and into human psychology and the importance of acting as a life force, readers will see new and deeper ways to study and practice, to be introspective, and to arrive at places of revelation about their craft.The Actor Uncovered will have much to say to beginners, to those who are advanced, and to professional and working actors. Howard discusses such topics as:
  • Techniques, styles, and methods in a changing society
  • Relaxation, concentration, and the breath
  • The relationships among actor, director, and writer
  • Memory
  • On camera versus on stage
  • Obstacles

After more than seventy years as a professional actor, director, and teacher, Howard shows how living creatively and invoking one's own personality can lead to a successful career as an actor.
All the Lights on: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things
All the Lights on
Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things
Paperback      ISBN: 0873519833

Michelle Hensley, founder of Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis, shares more than twenty years of her company's nationally unique work bringing professional theater to those in prisons, homeless shelters, adult education centers, and rural areas, as well as the general public. More than a chronological history, All the Lights On is also about the radiant power of theater. In this articulate and compelling book, Hensley distills what nontraditional audiences, along with the conditions her artists must perform under to reach them, have taught her about Brecht, the Greeks, Shakespeare, musicals, and the essence of what is necessary to make vibrant and essential theater. Her experiences lead her to conclude that theater artists become better and the art form itself much richer when everyone is included in the audience. In Ten Thousand Things productions, people from very different economic classes sit next to each other in the round and often experience unexpected connections with each other. Hensley writes in the introduction, "Not only do we have a chance to experience the multiple viewpoints of many characters in the play, but with all the lights on, we are able to consider the differing viewpoints of the other audience members seated around the circle. It all serves to increase, just a little, the radiance of our world."

"Michelle Hensley's radiant vision has already converted thousands (including me), and this book will swell that number. One of the very few books that should--no, must--be read by anyone who cares about making an American theater that matters."Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater"A call to arms for our field. Like the seminal works of Grotowski and Brook, Hensley's book in its quiet way could redefine and revolutionize theater for generations to come."Bill Rauch, Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and co-founder, Cornerstone Theater Company

Michelle Hensley is founder and artistic director of Ten Thousand Things in Minneapolis, where she has brought over fifty tours of award- winning drama to nontraditional audiences in prisons, shelters, and housing projects, as well as the general public.

Published in association with HowlRound A Center for the Theater Commons

Art Isn't Easy: The Theater of Stephen Sondheim
Art Isn't Easy
The Theater of Stephen Sondheim
Paperback      ISBN: 0306804689

The musical theatre of Stephen Sondheim probes deeply into the most disturbing issues of contemporary life. By challenging his audience with intricate music, biting wit, and profound themes, he flouts the traditional wisdom of the musical theatre. Tracing Sondheim's career from his initial success as lyricist for "West Side Story" and "Gypsy" to his most recent work--"Into the Woods" and "Assassins"--Joanne Gordon emphasizes not only the disturbing content of Sondheim's work, but his innovative use of form. In shows such as "A Little Night Music," "Sweeney Todd," and "Sunday in the Park with George," Sondheim's music and lyrics are inextricably woven into the fabric of the entire work.

Arthur Miller: His Life and Work
Arthur Miller
His Life and Work
Paperback      ISBN: 0306813777

Arthur Miller has been delivering powerful drama to the stage for decades with such masterpieces as Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and A View from the Bridge. But, remarkably, no one has yet told the full story of Miller's own extraordinary life-a rich life, much of it shrouded from public view. To achieve this groundbreaking portrait of the artist and the man, the award-winning drama critic and biographer Martin Gottfried masterfully draws on his interviews, on Miller's voluminous lifelong correspondence, and on the annotated scripts and notebooks that reveal Miller's creative process in stunning detail. From Miller's childhood and adolescence in Depression-era New York City to the 1947 play All My Sons that established him as a voice to be reckoned with...from his heroic defiance of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy years to his most unlikely pairing with Marilyn Monroe: Here is a highly acclaimed book that is "compulsively readable" (Booklist, starred review).

Arthur Miller: His Life and Work
Arthur Miller: His Life and Work
Paperback      ISBN: 0571219470

Arthur Miller's life spans more than four decades and includes three marriages - famously to America's enduring icon, Marilyn Monroe - numerous plays, novels and an autobiography. Martin Gottfried utilizes private letters from and to Arthur Miller where Miller discusses everything from movie deals to house decoration, from his psychoanalysis to his portrayal of Monroe in his play After the Fall. Using these materials as well as interviews with those who know Miller, Gottfried crafts the complete life and work of this major writer.

At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions
At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions
Paperback      ISBN: 0415124921
I consider this book a precious report that permits one to assimilate some of those simple and basic principles which the self-taught at times come to know, yet only after years of groping and errors. The book furnishes information regarding discoveries which the actor can understand in practice, without having to start each time from zero. Thomas Richards has worked with me systematically since 1985. Today he is my essential collaborator in the research dedicated to Art as Vehicle.' - from the Preface by Jerzy Grotowski
Athol Fugard: His Plays, People and Politics
Athol Fugard
His Plays, People and Politics
Paperback      ISBN: 1840028211

Alan Shelley's study is an accessible but profound analysis of Athol Fugard, his work and its influence, the social injustices that drive him, and the lives of those who people his remarkable plays. Fugard's work retains an insistent influence, and is studied and performed the world over.

A playwright whose work is appreciated on a global scale, Athol Fugard's plays have done more to document and provide a cultural commentary on Apartheid-era South Africa than any other writer in the last century.
Using mostly migrant workers and township dwellers, and staging guerrilla-raid productions in black areas, Fugard frequently came into conflict with the government, forcing him to take his work overseas. Consequently, powerful plays such as The Blood Knot, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, and Master Harold... and the boys came to broadcast the inequities of the Apartheid-era to the world. Fugard's work retains an insistent influence, and is studied and performed the world over.

Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater
Beautiful Chaos
A Life in the Theater
Paperback      ISBN: 1931404143

"Beautiful Chaos is an extraordinary journey of Carey Perloff and her theatre, ACT. Their continued evolution and ability to define and re-define themselves with courage, tenacity, and bravery allow them to confront what seem like insurmountable odds. This continues to shape and inspire Carey and those who work with her."--Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award-winning actress

"Carey Perloff's lively, outspoken memoir of adventures in running and directing theatre will be a key document in the story of playmaking in America."--Tom Stoppard, Playwright

"Carey Perloff, quite literally, raised a vibrant new theater from the rubble of an old one. This refreshingly honest account of her triumphs and misfires over the past two decades is both a fascinating read and an invaluable handbook for anyone attempting such a labor of love."--Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City

"Carey Perloff's marvel of a book is part memoir of a working mother, a passionate artist, a woman flourishing in a male-dominated craft- and part lavish love letter to theater. It is as lively, thoughtful, and insightful an account I have ever read about the art form. This one is for any person who has ever sat in the dark and been spellbound by the transformative power of theater."--Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

"Carey Perloff is a veteran of the regional theatre wars. Beautiful Chaos is her vivacious account of her ambitious work commanding San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre (ACT). The book exudes Perloff's trademark brio: smart, outspoken, full of fun and ferment."--John Lahr, author of Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

"This is an engaged, engaging, deeply intelligent, and passionate account of why the theatre matters and how it works in a city and in a society. It is also a fascinating and essential chapter in the history of San Francisco itself, as well as the story of a committed theatre artist's determination and vision."--Colm Toibin, author of Nora Webster

Carey Perloff, Artistic Director of San Francisco's legendary American Conservatory Theater, pens a lively and revealing memoir of her twenty-plus years at the helm and delivers a provocative and impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today's technology-infused world.

Perloff's personal and professional journey--her life as a woman in a male-dominated profession, as a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change--is a compelling, entertaining story for anyone interested in how theater gets made. She offers a behind-the-scenes perspective, including her intimate working experiences with well-known actors, directors, and writers, including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Robert Wilson, David Strathairn, and Olympia Dukakis.

Whether reminiscing about her turbulent first years as a young woman taking over an insolvent theater in crisis and transforming it into a thriving, world-class performance space, or ruminating on the potential for its future, Perloff takes on critical questions about arts education, cultural literacy, gender disparity, leadership, and power.

Carey Perloff is an award-winning playwright, theater director, and the artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco since 1992.