performing arts

Amy Cook (“Building Character”) on the Oscars

by Kathryn Beaton March 1, 2018

Our author Amy Cook, an Associate Professor of English and Theatre Arts at Stony Brook University, recently answered some questions about her new book, Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting.   Films play a prominent role in your book’s examination of casting choices. When you look over the list of nominees for this year’s Academy Awards in acting, what casting choices stand out as exceptional? Some of these actors originated the roles they are in: there was no other Lady Bird or Elisa Esposito before Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins were cast in those roles. Other actors are […]

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Henry Bial Defends the Ph.D. in Theater

by Phillip Witteveen February 22, 2013

In a recent essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Henry Bial, author of Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen, responded to growing concerns within the academy relating to doctorate programs in the performing arts.  There is, according to Bial and the article’s c0-authors, “an antagonism between those who study the theater and those who create it.” This issue falls hardest on those students “enrolled in 36 doctoral programs in theater across the country.”  Bial and his co-authors promoted a separation between the inherent value and marketability of the degree, saying,  “market value is a flawed metric for both the M.F.A. […]

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