The head of the Chekhov Theatre school in England and the United States who worked for many years with Stanislavsky in the Moscow Art Theatre and whose experience as director, teacher and actor has given him the philosophical and practical substance of this book, here gives the serious acting artist a kind of elevated handbook. He considers how to prepare for any acting part psychologically and physically -- chapters on such subjects as atmosphere, the psychological gesture, improvisation and ensemble, imagination and incorporation of images, character and characterization, creative individuality are included. He discusses different types of performance, gives examples for improvisation, and throughout the book gives specific exercises to follow. An outstanding section of his book is that devoted to the composition of the performance- he analyzes King Lear for the purpose of showing climaxes, rhythmic accents, thematic waves, etc..A preface by Yul Brynner is gratifyingly enthusiastic. Definitely for creative performers, this may appeal to some who would like to expand their everyday consciousness and control.