chapter  7
13 Pages

Acting Styles

Using information from the worlds of nonrealistic plays to develop believable style characterizations
WithRobert Barton, Barbara Sellers-Young

Style acting amounts to transporting the audience into unfamiliar territory, which may involve another era, country, realm or imaginary universe. The most common of these are the ISMs, period styles, musical theatre and mix or fusion blends. Film acting involves greater restraint and subtlety than stage work, just as realistic/naturalistic scripts are likely to require smaller choices than grand period style pieces. Actors who tour regularly often get to know the hall they will play in tonight by throwing lines out to the back wall; even playing catch with sound. Entry should involve analyzing time, space, place, values, structure, beauty, sex, recreation, sight and sound represented in each play, along with considerable research. All classical roles share some similar characteristics and require mastery of specific techniques. Adjusting the scale of performance is a crucial skill for film, varying sized theatre spaces and numerous offstage contexts.