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The School of Doing

 by Isaac Klein


Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Chita Rivera, Olympia Dukakis, 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 show business.  


Gerald Freedman was instrumental in creating some of the most important theater of the last century. As a young man, he went back and forth between directing stars such as Jack Lemmon, Joan Crawford, and Humphrey Bogart for the screen in Hollywood, and working onstage in New York with Jerome Robbins, for whom he assistant directed the original West Side Story. He served as Artistic Director of the New York Shakespeare Festival, now known as Shakespeare in the Park, and directed numerous star-studded productions to critical acclaim. He banded together with Bernard Gersten and Joseph Papp to found the Public Theater, and directed the world premiere of the musical Hair for its inaugural production. He also served as Co-Artistic Director of The Acting Company with John Houseman, Artistic Director at Stratford’s American Shakespeare Theater in Connecticut, and Artistic Director at Cleveland’s Great Lakes Theater. He directed celebrated productions on and off Broadway, won an Obie Award, and was the first American to direct at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London.  


Even in light of these extraordinary achievements, Gerald’s greatest work happened in the classroom. He studied with masters like Alvina Krause, Harold Clurman, and Robert Lewis. He went on to teach acting and directing at Northwestern, Yale, Juilliard, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he became Dean of the School of Drama in 1991, and proceeded to turn the program into one of the most highly-ranked and well-respected drama conservatories in the United States.


His singular, powerful teachings have never been written down in full. Until now.


Designed by David Litman. Photo by Donald Dietz.