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Designed by David Litman. Photo by Donald Dietz.

The School of Doing

 by Isaac Klein


“What a wonderful book to read, of how actors, designers, directors and all departments create their ART, how they go about telling a story. A fascinating read. I loved it, especially the lessons of Gerald Freedman, who was the first to open my mind to myself.”

—Chita Rivera

“Jerry Freedman was the most articulate, succinct, pragmatic but entertaining and loving teacher from whom I learned the craft. Actors at any level of their career will find his book invaluable.”

—Christine Baranski

“Wonderfully informative and beautifully written.  All lovers of theatre will love this book.”

—Stacy Keach

From L-R: Isaac with Gerald Freedman, Kevin Kline, and Mandy Patinkin

Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, Olympia Dukakis, Sam Waterston, and many more lend their voices to The School of Doing, a comprehensive guide to the craft and teachings of internationally renowned stage director and educator Gerald Freedman, including lessons on acting, directing, text analysis, comedy technique, camera technique, Shakespeare, musical theater, design, pedagogy, and the business itself. Foreword by Mandy Patinkin.

The School of Doing was published in 2017 and now sits on thousands of shelves. It has proved an invaluable resource for students past, present, and future, and has been embraced by drama teachers in classrooms all around the country, including in Isaac’s own classes as a guest teacher at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. 

Gerald Freedman began his career working for Columbia Pictures in Hollywood and assistant directing Broadway musicals, including the original production of West Side Story for Jerome Robbins. He went on to direct many classic and new works for producer Joseph Papp, including the world premiere of the musical Hair as the inaugural production of the Public Theater. Over the course of his six decade career, he directed plays, operas, and musicals on and off Broadway, regionally, and around the world. He won an Obie Award, became the first American to direct at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, and served as Artistic Director of the New York Shakespeare Festival (now known as the Public Theater / Shakespeare in the Park), Stratford’s American Shakespeare Theater, Cleveland’s Great Lakes Theater, and as co-Artistic Director of the Acting Company with John Houseman. He taught at The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, Yale University, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he served as Dean of the School of Drama for twenty-one years, becoming Dean Emeritus in 2012. Gerald passed away peacefully on March 17, 2020 at the age of 92.


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