Acts: Theater, philosophy, and the performing self

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Why do people act? Why are other people drawn to watch them? How is acting as a performing art related to role-playing outside the theater? As the first philosophical study devoted to acting, "Acts: Theater, Philosophy, and the Performing Self" sheds light on some of the more evasive aspects of the acting experience such as the import of the actor's voice, the ethical unease sometimes felt while embodying particular sequences, and the meaning of inspiration. Tzachi Zamir explores acting s relationship to everyday role-playing through a surprising range of examples of lived acting, including pornography, masochism, and eating disorders. By unearthing the deeper mobilizing structures that underlie dissimilar forms of staged and non-staged role-playing, "Acts "offers a multi-layered meditation on the percolation from acting to life. The book engages questions of theatrical inspiration, the actor s energy, the difference between acting and pretending, the special role of repetition as part of live acting, the audience and its attraction to acting, and the unique significance of the actor s voice. It examines the embodied nature of the actor s animation of a fiction, the breakdown of the distinction between what one acts and who one is, and the transition from what one performs into who one is, creating an interdisciplinary meditation on the relationship between life and acting."

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherUniversity of Michigan Press
Number of pages278
ISBN (Electronic)9780472120291
ISBN (Print)9780472072132
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© by the University of Michigan 2014. All rights reserved.


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