Film: 8919

Entertainment + Leisure | 1970 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Acting and drama school in America in the 1970's.

Girl on an empty stage says 'I think I wanted to be an actress all my life'. Two men in empty stalls consult, then ask next man his name. 'What are you going to read for us?'. It's an audition. Another girl says her school was University of Illinois. 'When were you sure you wanted to be an actress?'. Stills of a girl growing up. Voice-over of woman who describes her development as an actress. 'Have you done any acting work at school?'. Boys - stills as he describes as a child wanting to be a performer. Stills of boy as a character actor. Girl is asked her age. Girl plays a pilgrim. Close-up of dramatic masks. Old man who is doing the auditions in an office discussing with other staff of acting school. John Houseman and Michelle San Dennis, big names in American theatre. Stills of them. Coaching the actor. The theatre curtain raises. Student at acting school does voice techniques. Student's lie on the room making noises. Student describes the classes and breath control. Phonetics. Teacher goes through group assisting. Model of Elizabethan theatre. Mask class. Man with mask moves for expression. Practising ages of people with the mask. Students become different people by using the mask. Lots of people with masks on. How character is developed without the help of facial expression. English teachers of American students talks. Mask class. Students discuss the benefits of the mask class. Improvisation class. Teacher talks to the class about what is required. Students dancing and acting in an improvisation class. Mime. Students in leopards all doing different mimes. Students in groups. Group do arguments. Teacher says they sound like James Cagney. The students discuss and describe how the improvisation class helps develop them as actors. Model of a theatre. Body movement class. Teacher in a studio leads rhythmic dance exercises for actors. How to move. Lots of students moving to abstract music. Body control is shown. Expressing yourself with your body. Movement class is describes by the students. Groups moving on stage including a young Christopher Reeve. Students preparing to go on a stage. Back to the audition. Reads a speech from 'Math in the Country' by Turgenev. The audition is watched. 'Leslie' reads a speech from 'Hostage' by Brendan Behan. Another girl does Juliet from Rome and Juliet.

The film was of the students and teachers of the Julliard School, Drama Division with John Houseman.


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