From Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century


















9          introduction


15        acting theory in the ancient world

Divine Possession. Alteration and Contagion   15; Development of Dramatic Forms. Acting as a Specialized Activity   18; Emotional Tension and Frenzy. Persistence of Ion’s Doctrine   21; Moderation and Self-Control. The Emergence of the Character   23; The New Form of Emotional Involvement   24; The Actor’s Art and the Orator’s   27; The Use of Emotion   29; Emotion and Expression   31; The Techniques of Identification   33; Control and Perfection of Expression   35; Possibility of an Anti-Emotional Theory   37


40        from the church fathers to the sixteenth century

Theatre as a Source of Irrational Impulses   40; The Condemnation of Christian Authors   41; The New Image of Acting   45; The Humanist Ennobling of Theatre   46; Humanist Experiments and Court Performances   48; Professional Actors and the Commedia all’Improvviso   52; The Revival of Religious Opposition and the Actor’s New Status   56


62        the early italian treatises and the theoretical acting model

The Academicians Establish the First Rules of Acting. Giraldi Cintio’s Discorsi   62; Angelo Ingegneri. Stage Characters as Reality Perfected   65; Leone de’ Sommi’s Dialoghi and Theory Based on Stage Experience   68; The Writings of Pier Maria Cecchini   72; The Theoretical Model of Acting. Flaminio Scala and the Decline of the Early Treatises   73


77        the world of oratory. perrucci, grimarest and gildon

The Theatre Controversy   77; The Horizons of Oratory   79; Recitation: the Mysterious Difference   84; The New Treatises. Andrea Perrucci, Recitation, Oratory and Commedia all’Improvviso   88; Experience, Rules and the Insufficiency of Actio   91; Grimarest   95; Gildon   99


108      the birth of emotionalism

The Dramaturgic Function of Recitation   108; Natural Recitation   114; The Beginnings of Emotionalism   117; Luigi Riccoboni. Acting by Improvisation   122; First Formulation of the Emotionalist Theory   125; Criticism of Riccoboni. Reform of the Code and Franz Lang’s Treatise   133; Jean-Baptiste Du Bos   139


143      the critique of acting and the development of emotionalism. d’aigueberre, cibber, aaron hill and rémond de sainte-albine

D’Aigueberre and the Founding of the Critique of Acting   143; Cibber’s Autobiography and Garrick’s and Foote’s Essays   147; Aaron Hill   152; Rémond de Sainte-Albine’s Treatise   155; The Functions of Technique   160; The Problems of Emotionalism   163


168      antiemotionalism. antoine-françois riccoboni, lessing, diderot

English Versions of Le Comédien   168; Antoine-François Riccoboni’s L’art du Théâtre   170; Lessing’s project   175; Sticotti and Diderot   181; Artistic Creation   184; The Paradoxe and Its Reasoning. The Characteristics of Sensibility   186; Real Life-Theatre Difference. Actors and Characters   190; The Problems of the Paradoxe   192


194      the end of century debate. engel, boswell and touron

The Late Eighteenth Century: a Profusion of Treatises   194; The Work of the Author, the Creation of the Actor   196; Performing the Part. Study, Observation and Imitation   198; The Function of Sentiment   204; Engel’s Treatise   206; Boswell and the Levels of Interiority   211; Touron   214


219      epilogue