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Little Masterpieces of Autobiography: Actors

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By: (1852-1942)

The playwright gives a play its plot, characters, dialog and form, but its sense of living reality is conveyed by the art of the actor. This fascinating collection of perspectives on acting is taken from biographies and autobiographies of American, British and Italian actors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

John Wilkes Booth, an actor and the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, is recalled by his brother, the great actor Edwin Booth, and by acclaimed actress Clara Morris. -- Lee Smalley

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Scanned and proofed by Ron Burkey (rburkey@heads I have retained all of the original spelling and punctuation from the printed edition. Italicized text is delimited with underlines . Footnotes are collected at the end, and are indicated by brackets, thusly: [3].

Library of Little Masterpieces In Forty four Volumes





A good play gives us in miniature a cross section of life, heightened by plot and characterisation, by witty and compact dialogue. Of course we should honour first the playwright, who has given form to each well knit act and telling scene. But that worthy man, perhaps at this moment sipping his coffee at the Authors' Club, gave his drama its form only; its substance is created by the men and women who, with sympathy, intelligence and grace, embody with convincing power the hero and heroine, assassin and accomplice, lover and jilt. For the success of many a play their writers would be quick to acknowledge a further and initial debt, both in suggestion and criticism, to the artists who know from experience on the boards that deeds should he done, not talked about, that action is cardinal, with no other words than naturally spring from action... Continue reading book >>

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