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» » Actors' Lives: On and Off the American Stage
Actors' Lives: On and Off the American Stage


Holly Hill


Actors' Lives: On and Off the American Stage


Arts & Photography

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Theatre Communications Group; 1st edition (April 1, 1993)




Performing Arts



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Actors' Lives: On and Off the American Stage by Holly Hill

Interviews with twenty-one of America's finest actors about craft, career and the trials of making a life on stage. Includes: James Earl Jones, Olympia Dukakis, Josie de Guzman, Richard Thomas, Anthony Heald, Joan MacIntosh and Joe Morton.
Cherry Jones is a major stage performer and her chapter cements her position as one of Broadway's great actors. Bravo, Cherry Jones!
A paragraph from the preface:
The twenty-one outstanding artists in "Actors' Lives" were chosen, in collaboration with colleagues at Theatre Communications Group, from a list of four hundred excellent possibilities I compiled by scouring "Theatre World" from 1950 to the present, "Players Guide" and "Who's Who", collections of theatre programs at the Lincoln Center performing arts library, and the files of the Non-Traditional Casting Project. Whittling down the list was agonizing. Interviewing the chosen few was often as exhilarating as seeing their finest work onstage.
This is a surprising and informative book. I found that I knew many of the actors, but not by name. Again I was surprised to find such diverse backgrounds to what I thought were just one time TV or movie actors. Reading about any one actor is well worth the price. Yet you will not be able to pass even those that you never heard of. I found a picture of Peter Gallager [While You Were Sleeping (1995) ASIN: 6304765266] in the book even thought he was not on the list.
The actors covered in this book are:
Frances Conroy, Clayton Corzatte, Olympia Dukakis, Frances Foster, Josie de Gunzman, Anthony Heald, Richard Jenkins, Cherry Jones, James Earl Hones, Randall Duk Kim, Jane Lind, Joan MacIntosh, John Mahoney, Paul McCrane, Isabell Monk, Joe Morton, Howie Seago, Freda Foh Shen, Josef Sommer, Richard Thomas, Jeff Weiss
I found this book fascinating. It was sure to be good about recording various actors' lives - their career moves, their favorite parts and all that interesting information. What was a surprise were the great comments many of the actors in the book made about what the theater is, how it works at its best, what it is like to approach a legendary role or a famous playwright. The best part is that these are working actors, successful and well respected by their colleagues but maybe not so well known to us. Actors who have given their lives to living, sharing, developing in the trade. They seem to have high standards and they articulate them well. We often read about famous actors; this book is for people who would be fascinated to read about actors actors.

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