The Technique of Inner Action: The Soul of a Performer's Work
This book focuses on the inner work of a performer. It takes up where Stanislavski's study of inner work left off and then expands inner action into a comprehensive discipline for developing an inner technique as precise and concrete as those use to develop external skills like voice and movement. Bill Bruehl argues that authentic emotions are expressed when performers focus on the internal aspirations of their character and on the flow of actions in the play. Mastery of inner action allows a performer to interpret a character with clarity, maximize creative potential, and insure authentic expression of emotion and spontaneity in performance.
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Consider Hamlet. Suppose, after preliminary study, we decide that Hamlet is the
protagonist— not much uncertainty about that— and that he wants to avenge his
father's death. We feel confident of having found a valid inner action or ...
Hamlet's behavior in that case could well take on the stony detachment of an
insect exterminator. Another actor might decide that Hamlet's task is to defend his
mother from an unknown intruder or spy, an action resulting in yet another and ...
When Hamlet kills the king, we see the principal event of the play. We learn that
he has avenged his father's murder and/or purged the state, depending on your
interpretation. There is an event in every scene leading up to that moment. In act