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madbkwm

madbkwm

The Art Of Coarse Acting, Or, How To Wreck An Amateur Dramatic Society - Michael Frederick Green This book was recommended to me by an amazingly talented community theater actress. Being that it is out of print and that my local library's copy had been stolen, I had to wait several weeks for it to arrive via inter-library loan. It was definitely worth the wait.

Green manages to be ridiculous and hyperbolic (and very tongue in cheek), but also is full of some decent advice and commentary (especially in Chapter 3 "A Coarse Actor Prepares") on what to do when the inevitable problem arises. Certainly he is making fun of all of us in amateur theatre, but he is also providing some great tips underneath all the witty quips.

Some of my favorite parts of the book involve Green's snide comments like: "it is the actor who is chiefly responsible for ruining the play", his instruction to ask oneself: "Could I measure down to that standard of acting?", "a good actor can make the audience believe a block of wood is a sword, a Coarse Actor can make them believe a sword is a block of wood.", and "a depressed cast is a good cast, especially in comedies".

Mostly it is a collection of funny anecdotes and sarcastic commentary about those of us who enjoy the silliness that is inherent in theatrical "play".