Acting: Onstage and Off

  • AUTHOR: Robert Barton
  • ISBN-13: 9781305077447 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 416 Pages  Paperback 
  • 7th Edition  |  Previous Editions: 2012
  • ©2016     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

Extremely practical and student friendly, ACTING: ONSTAGE AND OFF, 7e demonstrates how offstage performance can be effectively adapted for the theatre, as well as how onstage training can be applied toward leading a full life outside the theatre. Barton's humorous and conversational writing style helps students learn all phases of actor training, including scene study, auditioning, observation, and mind, voice and body relaxation techniques. Examples from daily life-instead of dramatic literature-ensure thorough student understanding and spark lively class discussion based on everyday experiences. The Seventh Edition features insightful words of wisdom from a variety of successful classic and contemporary actors. In addition new “Breathing for Change” exercises help students practice altering their physical and emotional state to perform, while “Partner Rapport” features new strategies for connecting with other actors in a scene.


  • ACTING: ONSTAGE AND OFF demonstrates how offstage performance can be effectively adapted for the theatre as well as how onstage training can be applied toward leading a full life outside the theatre. This basic approach focuses on life experience rather than on dramatic literature for background material and positions fundamentals such as auditioning as basic skills that can be applied to many areas of life.
  • Accessible and conversational, the author's down-to-earth writing style uses original terms-rather than invented vocabulary-for acting concepts and emphasizes the actor's responsibility for in-rehearsal active contribution and out-of-rehearsal exploration.
  • A wealth of actor testimony from well-known performers includes insight from both proven veterans and successful newcomers near the ages of the students.
  • ACTING: ONSTAGE AND OFF delivers a clear interpretation of Stanislavski-the father of actor training as we know it-for modern readers.
  • Numerous exercises and approaches allow flexible selection and adaptation. Exercises can easily be cut back in scope while written assignments can be adapted into thought-provoking discussion questions and improvisations in those instances where a minimum of academic work is deemed appropriate.
  • “Offstage Actions” provide a framework for those who intend to use this training in venues outside the theatre. The material also includes professional skills to supplement personal ones.

About the Contributor

  • Robert Barton

    Robert Barton is Professor Emeritus of Acting at the University of Oregon. He has directed more than half of Shakespeare's plays and performed in most of them, including playing the title role in a PBS production of HAMLET. A prolific author, Dr. Barton has published numerous scholarly articles on acting and seven books, including VOICE: ONSTAGE AND OFF (with Rocco Dal Vera), THEATRE IN YOUR LIFE and LIFE THEMES (both with Annie McGregor), and ACTING REFRAMES. His STYLE FOR ACTORS received the Theatre Association's Best Book Award. In addition, he served as editor and adaptor of the newly revised edition of the classic text THE CRAFT OF COMEDY. The American College Theatre Festival honored Dr. Barton as Outstanding Acting Coach. He received his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University.

Table of Contents

About the Author.
1. Acting Acknowledged.
2. Relaxed Readiness.
3. Individual Inventory.
4. Stanislavski's System.
5. Stanislavski Stretched.
6. Truth/Technique.
7. Scene Study.
8. Performance Process.
9. Acting Anticipated.

New to this Edition

  • Continuing to offer students valuable insight from seasoned and up-and-coming performers alike, the Seventh Edition includes new words of wisdom from a host of classic and contemporary practitioners.
  • Chapter 7, “Scene Study” includes an updated scene list.
  • New “Breathing for Change” exercises focus on altering the actor's physical and emotional state to maximize success on and off the stage.
  • “Partner Rapport” features reveal new strategies for getting on the same wavelength with another actor when you are working on a scene or exercise together.