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How The 20th Century Learned To Act

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Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint in a screenshot from the trailer for the film "On the Waterfront."

Think of a performance in film or theater that captured you — a portrayal so engrossing that actor and character seemed to become one. How does that happen?


Today, it’s normal to think of an actor emotionally inhabiting their character — to feel what they feel. And it can get extreme: like an actor, for example, who never breaks character, not even when the camera’s off. At its most intense, this way of building character is called method acting, and it’s very different than how acting was taught and performed before the 20th century. The author Isaac Butler is joining us this Friday at 11 a.m., and again at 7 p.m., to talk about how the craft of acting has changed into the remarkable skill we know today.

Airdate: February 18, 2022 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Isaac Butler’s book is The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act  [Amazon|Indiebound]

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