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New Book Aims to Help Actors Transform Themselves Into Their Next Great Character

Authors, Paul Marcus, Ph.D. and Gabriela Marcus are pleased to announce their book, Theater As Life: Practical Wisdom Drawn from Great Acting Teachers, Actors and Actresses. This new work explores acting technique theory and its impact on everyday living.

New York, NY, December 12, 2012 --( Rather than focus on the well-known truism that great plays and dramatic performances can deeply transform and ennoble us, the Marcus's draw from a much less known dimension of theatre, namely, acting technique theory, how actors and actresses learn dramatic performance as an art, profession and way of life. They claim the emotional, intellectual and physical insights the actor must internalize and ultimately translate into action to become a great actor are "technique(s) of the self" that can be enormously helpful to the average person struggling with the problem of living a better life, the "good life," as they call it.

Drawing from the psychological insights of Constantin Stanislavski and other such "master" teachers like Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, as well as performers like Lawrence Olivier, Marlon Brando and Meryl Streep, Theater as Life is the first book that makes the actor's magical "soul craft", her way of transforming herself into a "character" accessible and applicable to real-life, to living the "good life."

Book Information:
Theater As Life: Practical Wisdom Drawn from Great Acting Teachers, Actors and Actresses
Author: Paul Marcus and Gabriela Marcus
Publisher: Marquette University Press
ISBN: 978-0874620696
Published: 2012
Pages: 263, Hardcover

About the Authors:
Paul Marcus, Ph.D., psychoanalyst, is the author/editor of twelve books, most recently In Search of the Good Life, Emmanuel Levinas, Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living. Dr. Marcus completed the five levels of improv training at The Peoples Improv Theater.

Gabriela Marcus, a graduate of the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, trained at the Atlantic Theater Acting School and Stonestreet Studios, is a working actress.

For more information, review copies, or interviews please contact the author at:

Paul Marcus

Theater As Life is available for purchase online from the publisher,,, and other online retailers. Bookstores should contact Ingram for wholesale orders.

Recent Praise:

"This brilliant, truly unique volume belongs in every theater lover's collection. Acting theories and texts have long sought to incorporate life's lessons and experiences into theater. Paul Marcus (a psychoanalyst with a particular interest in improv) and Gabriela Marcus (an actor) look at how to employ methodologies and lessons learned from acting in everyday life. The desired end is a life lived truthfully, moment to moment, fully incorporating all possibilities--the result being what the authors call the "good life." A wide variety of approaches to acting are cited and succinctly articulated, beginning (or in the case of this text ending) with Stanislavski and including both his adherents (Strasberg, Adler, et al.) and those whose work is counter to his approach (Suzuki, Grotowski, et al.). Vivid comparisons to Buddhism, stoicism, and psychoanalysis are made throughout the volume, bringing to the reader the possibilities for personal growth and fulfillment through the lessons of acting. Persons without a particular interest in theater arts would learn much from this superb volume, but it is of primary interest in theater collections. Summing Up: Essential. All readers." - CHOICE. Current Review for Academic Libraries

“One of the most comprehensive books on why performers do what they do and how they do it. It is helpful to anyone who is already a performer, wants to be one or is fortunate to know one. I highly recommend the Marcus’ book.” - Joe Schiappa, Performer and Teacher, The People's Improvisation Theatre

“A much needed book for our time. Antidotes for dehumanization are drawn from theater, particularly acting and training techniques for actors. The authors make a compelling case for the application of what it takes to be a ‘real’ actor to what it takes to be a ‘real’ person. Quotes from actors and directors are thrilling and moving and the authors own reflections are consciousness raising. An enriching, nourishing, humanizing book.” - Michael Eigen, Ph.D., Psychoanalyst, author, Flames from the Unconscious: Trauma, Madness and Faith
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