This major new work is a comprehensive look at the craft of acting from a distinctly Australian perspective. A sophisticated, frank and passionate book, Dimensions of Acting explores the process of creating a performance.
At the centre of his thinking, Crawford rejects the notion of acting gurus, observing that good actors do whatever works. They don’t follow one particular method to the exclusion of everything else, he says, to do so would be anti-art. And if cobbling together bits and pieces that suit the job at hand is a challenging and messy process, no one said that art should be simple.
The trick is knowing what to use and when. Crawford identifies eight Dimensions as the building blocks for a performance: the Environment and Dramaturgy of the play, the History and Activity of the character, the Characterisation and Personalisation of the actor, the Aesthetic of the production and finally, the bedrock for all actors, Communication in performance. These Dimensions can be used to help actors discover which bits of acting theory might turn them on, whether from Stanislavski, Lecoq or Aunty Gladys. They also provide a focus for when things aren’t working, offering approaches that can be fruitfully explored.
Along the way Crawford references great plays and writers, notably Shakespeare, as well as the major acting theories, providing an invaluable guide to teachers and students at all levels. The book also focuses on a number of widely-studied Australian plays including Away, Stolen and Gary’s House.
With thirty years of working in Australian theatre behind him, Crawford delivers practical tools for performers and new insights into acting and the Australian theatre.