Drawing on his two-year series of public interviews with top thespians conducted at N.Y.C.'s New School, Tony Award-winning producer Black conveys the work behind theater's ``magic''—the motivation and training of actors, the mechanics of production, and the essential role of the audience. While Black devotes separate chapters to Tony Randall, Eli Wallach, and Liv Ullman, the rest of his text features that special chemistry of intelligent pairing that characterized his interview- series. Subjects include, among others, Joel Grey and Julie Harris; Christopher Reeve and Elizabeth Franz; William Hurt and Lois Smith; Madeline Kahn and Christopher Walken; Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy; Frank Langella and Judith Ivey; and Zoâ Caldwell and Colleen Dewhurst, whose death during the writing of the book inspired an epilogue emphasizing acting as a collaboration between the actor and the audience—which is an implied presence in the interviews themselves. While the topic of Black's series was how actors convince audiences that they are other than themselves (i.e., the nature of theatrical illusion), the discussions here—which interweave Black's personal narrative with his subjects' dialogue and some Q&A—reveal how actors are motivated to become professional; how they train; how they prepare for a part; how they feel about themselves, their audiences, and their fellow actors; and what they think about more philosophical issues, such as the relative merits of talent, technique, training, and teaching. Each discussion is exceptionally articulate and interesting, and Black, representing the audience, conveys winningly how important it is for audiences to believe in the uses of illusion. An insightful psychology of actors and audiences that offers inspiration for young actors and an absorbing read for those who love the theater. (Thirty-four photographs)

Pub Date: June 2, 1993

ISBN: 0-02-511155-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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