Alexander Technique for Actors: A Practical Course


ISBN: 9781848427587
Author: By Penny O’Connor
Publication Date: 29/07/2021
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Extent: 304pp.
Availability: Available


The Alexander Technique has revolutionised the physicality, presence and professional lives of generations of actors. By first asking you to identify your own acquired habits, the technique enables you to find new and beneficial ways of moving, thinking, breathing and performing, freely and without unnecessary tension.

Written by an experienced teacher of the Alexander Technique, this clear, supportive and highly practical book takes you step by step through a series of eleven guided lessons. Each explores different elements and principles of the technique, including:

  • Training yourself to stay present, and mindful of your environment
  • Thinking (but not overthinking!) in new ways
  • Observing and developing your natural poise
  • Sitting, standing and walking easily and effortlessly
  • Breathing and speaking with release and power
  • Applying all of this work to characterisation and performance

With dozens of exercises and assignments to help you immediately put what you’ve learned into practice, and featuring illustrations throughout, this is the ideal introduction to everything the Alexander Technique has to offer – and its potential to benefit not just your work and career, but your entire life.

‘Penny O’Connor’s approach to the Alexander Technique is mindful and meaningful. She brings great skill, experience, wit and humanity to her work. I have learnt a great deal from her.’ Jeannette Nelson, Head of Voice, National Theatre

‘This comprehensive and absorbing book is essential reading for actors – and all other performers too. It moves seamlessly between explanation and experiential learning, and takes the reader on a cumulative and developmental journey of self-awareness and change, whether working alone or in a group. A joy to experience!’ Niamh Dowling, Head of School of Performance, Rose Bruford College

‘This engaging, charming and creative guide [is] a fantastic resource… it’s easy to read, the ideas, exercises and experiments are laid out clearly and thoroughly, and it’s comprehensive… I strongly recommend this book’
Statnews (Journal of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique)

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ePub, Mobi, Print