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At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions Paperback – 4 May 1995

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (4 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415124921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415124928
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'This book is extremely concise and makes the work of Grotowski something students understand.' - Jane Hanna, Roehampton Institute, UK

'An essential text for anyone interested in the work of Polish theatre-maker and teacher Jerzy Grotowski.' - Total Theatre

From the Back Cover

Published here in English for the first time, At Work With Grotowski On Physical Actions is a compelling insider's view of the more recent work of one of the central figures of twentieth-century theatre. It will be compulsive and inspiring reading for every student of acting, and for anyone interested in the history of the theatre.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For those who may have found Grotowski's "Towards a Poor Theatre" rather hard to read, this book will be a welcome relief. Thomas Richards was Grotowski's main student and collaborator in the later part of the director's life. This book is an enjoyable account some of their time together and gives an insight into how Grotowski's theories and work had developed by the time of his death.

Richard writes about how he found Grotowski and attended workshops and training programmes. With great honesty, he talks of his own failings and difficulties with both the training and grotowski himself. However, he also paints a wonderful picture of his master as a teacher of great warmth and humour.

Richards also includes some explanations and insights into the theoretical basis of the work. This helps change the view many people have of Grotowski's work and allows one to understand how earlier works had helped develop his later theories,even if he later discarded them. One of Richards' earliest encounters with Grotowski humourously shows how this was something many people did not realise; When the director gave a workshop at Richards' college, the students decided to impress grotowski by performing a kind of pseudo-ritualistic event in the desert. Rather than being impressed with the work, Grotowski thanks them for showing him how bad and cliched para-theatrical events could be!

This is not a "how-to" manual. It is an in-depth exploration of the relationship between a master and his students, writtten in an easy to read, enjoyable manner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important book on acting to appear in years 5 July 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Most people in theater have heard of Grotowski, but few have any first-hand experience of his work. This book is bound to become a standard work on acting as it explains in clear and consice detail how Grotowski applied his technique to the pratical work of acting.
As a bonus, the book bridges the gap between traditional Stanislavski method and physically-based acting, by showing how Grotowski's work is in continuation of the Method, not in oppostion to it. Any serious student of theater will want to have this book on their shelf
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grotowski expansion on Stanislavsky 26 Oct. 2005
By R. Walden - Published on
Format: Paperback
Whoever said anything about "The Method" should realize Grotowski has nothing to do with Lee Strasberg. Grotowski has picked up at the end of Stanislavski's work, which only stopped evolving because of his death, and Jerzy Grotowski has expanded on those ideas and brought new meaning to physical actions. Thomas Richards explanations of how Grotowski and the Labratory Theatre's work taught actors like himself to embrace physical actions in a powerful, intense way is truly inspiring. This book is a must read, particularly in conjunction with "Towards a Poor Theatre" by Grotowski for any person working in modern theatre.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for actors and others 3 Jan. 2008
By Rutanya Alda - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book on the Grotowski method of acting work. It is very well written and a must read for anyone in the acting profession and of interest to others who are curious about the creative process.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good food for thought - could use a little salt 18 Dec. 2005
By Johanna MacDonald - Published on
Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in getting more information on Grotowski, this is of course a must-read, although occasionally the humility with which Richards infuses his prose borders on making it a must-slog-through. In a way, it's appealing that Richards tends to describe only his own work - only the things that he himself did, but I tend to find the descriptions fuzzy. I often felt the descriptions of exercises or actions were not concrete enough for me to imagine them; this is by no means a practical handbook.

Having said that, it is an excellent read for probably every serious actor, who will recognize in Richards' frank account their own mistakes, frustration over lack of discipline, and impatient desires to be brilliant. Definitely inspiring, occasionally repetitive or unclear.
5.0 out of 5 stars Me encantó 26 Jan. 2013
By Antonio Rojas - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Soy actor y me gustó mucho el encuentro entre el autor y el Maestro. Ese modo lento de comprenderse a uno mejor.
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