Hot off the Presses Book Talk
Bella Merlin, Professor of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production


Acting: The Basics 3rd Edition is a dynamic response to recent societal and entertainment industry changes, focusing on inclusion, diversity and equity, and the actor's trajectory from training to rehearsal to performance on stage and screen, with hands-on tools and global perspectives. The book offers vital ways of building a practical acting toolkit, through breath, body, voice, emotions, imagination and spirit. We begin with a socio-cultural look at actor as magician, storyteller, healer and social changer. Throughout, there are insights from Black, Indigenous, First Nations, South/East Asian, intercultural and feminist practitioners, together with methods focusing on disability and accessibility, intimacy directives, mindfulness and intersectionality. Key 'canonical' figures still feature (e.g., Stanislavsky, Meisner, Brecht and Suzuki) with re-visioned perspective. Scattered throughout are post-COVID insights, plus expanded sections on screen acting (including self-tapes) and Shakespeare. 


Dr. Bella Merlin teaches acting and regularly directs productions for TFDP. She has been acting for over thirty years, integrating the academy and the industry through screen and stage. Areas of practice-based research include acting processes, fact-based drama, song-and-story, Stanislavsky, Shakespeare, and she has presented workshops and papers in Australia, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Zimbabwe and across the UK. Here at UCR she has created with students projects including 20:20 Vision (a hybrid musical-theatrical film, created entirely remotely during COVID-lockdown); Active Analysis in Rehearsal: A Documentary Learning Resource (one of the most popular items on Digital Theatre+ online archive); and Acting Matters (in which students share with you the transformative impact that acting has had on them).


Moderated by Dr. Annika Speer, Professor of Teaching, Theatre, Film, and Digital Production


Sponsored by the UCR Center for Ideas & Society 

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All star cast, moderator and author! I'm sadly teaching during that time, but I'd like to wish everyone a fantastic inspiring event!