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John Basil directed 27 of the 37 Shakespeare plays, many of them staged at American Globe Theatre. As a founding member, and Producing Artistic Director of American Globe, he became known for his dynamic, exciting & visceral approach to teaching, which incorporated a wide range of work including classical, contemporary, theater and film. During the company's 25 year run, John also directed on the NBC soap opera, “Another World”; completed seven seasons at Sarasota Opera; helped launch the Sedona Shakespeare Festival; and worked regionally, directing diverse and teaching works by Shakespeare, A.R. Gurney, and Neil Simon. He created AGT's innovative "Playing Shakespeare Series, and furthered his academic engagement with numerous institutions such as Columbia University’s Teachers College, Elon University, FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, NYU, Penn State, and Rutgers University, to name a few.  John was a tenured professor at Marymount Manhattan College.

 

John began his theatre career as an actor, studying with Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, and Mira Rostova, or also referred to as  “The Three Sisters”. He went on to work the Williamstown Theatre Festival with Nikos Psacharopoulos. After studying with the Royal Shakespeare Theater’s John Barton, it all changed.  

 

Drawing on his work with actors of varied levels of classical experience, from novice to experienced, John co-authored his first book, “WILL POWER: How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days” (Applause), which is now used at twelve universities. In 2022, John released “Building A Performance: An Actor's Guide to Rehearsal”.

CLICK HERE FOR A PREVIEW OF JOHN'S ONLINE "PLAYING SHAKESPEARE SERIES"

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online series.

books.

books.

"Read Will Power if you want every day's rehearsal, from Day 1 to Day 21,

to hold remarkable insights and activities."

 - Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award-winning actress, Moonstruck

WILL POWER

How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days

by JOHN BASIL with STEPHANIE GUNNING

 

Competition is fierce, how can an actor gain an edge?   Prepared actors make bold, unique choices and impress casting directors, gaining the performance edge.

 

Will Power guides the seasoned, and novice actor alike, through a lively, goal-oriented 21-day rehearsal process leading up to the moment of audition or performance. Never again be confused about where to begin, and how to follow-through in development of your Shakespearean role.

 

In this book, the stepping-stones to character, coded into the work by Shakespeare himself, are clearly laid out, explained, and adapted to our modern rehearsal process. Now make bold, visceral choices rooted in the text, from staging to speech and actions, and incorporate this technique into your personal approach to not just classical works, but acting.


 

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"Building a Performance gives fresh insights on the practical rehearsal techniques that translate the work into spontaneous, vulnerable, lively performances."

 - Tom Fontana, Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, Homicide, Oz, Life on the Streets, City on the Hill

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BUILDING A PERFORMANCE

An Actor's Guide to Rehearsal

by JOHN BASIL and DENNIS SCHEBETTA

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Congratulations! You got the part! Now what? Many actors of all levels find it challenging to apply classroom and studio techniques to the rehearsal process. Rehearsing for a class is vastly different than a professional situation, and a consistent, practical, and constructive method is needed to truly bring to life vibrant and intricate characters. 

 

Building a Performance: An Actor's Guide to Rehearsal provides tools and techniques through different stages of the rehearsal process to enable actors to make more dynamic choices, craft complex characters, and find an engaging and powerful level of performance. John Basil and Dennis Schebetta bring decades of acting and teaching experience to help actors apply the skills they learned in the classroom directly to the professional rehearsal room or film/television set. They show how to glean distinct choices from early readings of the script, how to add dynamics to their physical and vocal decisions, how to explore interactions with other actors in rehearsal, and how to address specific challenges unique to each role. 

 

While students will benefit from the practical applications and advice, intermediate and advanced actors will find exciting and new ways to engage with the material and with other actors at rehearsal. Actors of all levels will gain tips and techniques so that they can continue to discover more about their character. With these tools, actors will be inspired to dig into the text and build a dynamic performance.

 

 

BUY THE BOOK

collaborators

collaborators.

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Graphics

David Laundra

After co-founding and operating the Writers Theatre for 18 years with his wife, Linda, in NYC, David moved on to television and film.  He has performed in numerous plays in New York City, acted in commercials, films and network daytime and primetime TV including, “St. Elsewhere”, “OZ”, “Homicide, Life on the Street”, “The Jury” and “The Beat”. He has also done many voice overs including "30 Rock" and “Sugarland” and voice work ranging from Books on Tape to commercials for Habitat for Humanity and more. He was Technical Director and principal camera, for “The New York Theatre Review” on PBS and served as DP for a variety of projects on film and the internet. His photographs have appeared in all the New York newspapers and his current work appears regularly online.

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Editor

Linda Laundra

Linda was an Emmy nominated Producer and Director for 12 years, working for ABC, CBS and NBC. Her first film, “JEAN”, based on the final chapter of Mark Twain’s autobiography, won awards in the Festival Circuit. She has created 3 screenplays, including her first feature film of the play “MY OWN STRANGER”, from the work of Anne Sexton which she originally adapted for the stage with Marilyn Campbell. Her directing has been seen on “Homicide, Life on the Street”, the pilot of “M.O.N.Y”., “The Beat”, shortfilms and documentaries. She served on the Directors Council of the Directors Guild of America, where she created and chaired the first long-standing East Coast Women’s committee, Focus on Women.  She co-founded and operated the Writer's Theater for 18 years with her husband, David, in NYC.

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Editor

Erica Melhorn

Erica Melhorn is an artist and industry professional. She is a graduate of the BFA Acting Program at Marymount Manhattan College, with a minor in Media and Communication Arts. Erica has worked at Creative Artists Agency, A3 Artists Agency, and freelanced with Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV. Her long term goal is to create opportunities for other artists. For questions, consultations, and networking, you can email her at  melhornerica@gmail.com

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