Tools and Techniques for Character Interpretation: A Handbook of Psychology for Actors, Writers, and Directors

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Limelight A must for both the aspiring and seasoned artist. Uniquely geared to the work of theatre and film artists, this book, for the first time, sets out clearly and concisely the ideas, principles, and character typology of various psychological schools from Freudian, Kleinian, and Jungian to contemporary developments. The practical uses and applications of their theories are graphically demonstrated throughout the book by means of numerous examples and in-depth analyses drawn from classic and contemporary theatrical and cinematic literature. Stanislavskian methods are also discussed. An immensely useful, essential tool for character creation and analysis. Features a foreword by noted acting teacher Alice Spivak.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879103264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879103262
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Customer Reviews

Rich resource for creating deep and individual characters

6 people found this helpful.
 on July 4, 2006
By Stephanie Cowell
Anyone who acts or writes should aspire to creating the deepest characters they can — and what a wealth of contradictions, loves, fears, resentments, childhood hurts, faith and joy is every person on this earth, both the ones born with flesh and the ones someone writes and acts and who often seem realer than your neighbor. (I refuse to even consider that Hamlet or Shylock never lived.) Robert Blumenfeld’s new book gives us a history of psychology and how it can be applied to creating many-layered characters; even more fascinating, he delves into specific interpretations of many great characters, and the psychology he himself used when portraying the Marquis of Queensberry in the off-Broadway long-run, complex drama, “The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.”


5 people found this helpful.
 on April 11, 2006
By Arena Connery
In his preface, Blumenfeld explains how his book “takes from the science of behavior tools and techniques that will be useful to the actor in practicing the art of behavior, to the writer in creating characters with depth, and to the director in interpreting scripts.” This handbook is fairly heavy reading, but is still accessible to people who are not very familiar with the world of psychology. Thankfully, Chapter 8 is nearly 50 pages of alphabetized psychology terms and topics. Blumenfeld covers basic psychological principles and theories with examples from film and television.

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