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Before the Curtain Opens
Before the Curtain Opens

Before the Curtain Opens

Alexander Technique in the Actor’s Life


124 Pages, 5.75 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $20.00 (US $20.00) (CA $27.00)

Publication Date: August 2018

ISBN 9781911193432

Rights: US & CA

Triarchy Press Ltd (Aug 2018)


eBook Editions Available

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The Alexander Technique is a long-established, accessible and highly effective way of learning to change and retrain postural and behavioural habits that cause unnecessary tension, stress and illness. Developed over a century ago by F.M. Alexander (who taught the technique to George Bernard Shaw, Henry Irving, Aldous Huxley and many others), the Alexander Technique is a form of conscious awareness and mindfulness avant la lettre. It has always been used principally by actors—though it has wide applications in other professions and in daily life. Kate Kelly has a lifetime's experience as an actor and Alexander teacher. In Before the Curtain Opens, she invites performers of all sorts to examine the everyday habits of standing, sitting, breathing, speaking and reacting that spill over, unseen, into their professional lives. Using her own experience, miniature case studies, humour and unfailingly gentle kindness, she shines a spotlight on our deepest-rooted habits. On every page she offers advice, tips, techniques and guidance to help actors and performers retrain themselves in everything they do in daily life—before the curtain opens.

Author Biography

Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, Kate Kelly graduated as an Alexander technique teacher from the Constructive Teaching Centre in 1988 and continued as a teacher trainer there for 17 years. She maintains a private teaching practice in Central London where she lives with her Québecois husband. They both sing in the local community choir she co-founded in 2013. After Queens University Belfast she performed in Dublin at the Focus and Project, toured with Isosceles theatre and was part of the Lyric Players company in Belfast before attending the Webber Douglas Acting Academy in London. She went on to work as an actor, and later an Alexander teacher, in the Netherlands, France and other countries in Europe as well as the UK. Along with teaching in drama schools for several decades, Kate was a partner in Hart Training (now Midderighvox) for 11 years, with Johannes Theron and Ivan Midderigh, bringing theatre-based team and presentation coaching to business and organisations worldwide. She is a certified practitioner of the Alfred A. Tomatis listening method and most recently has trained as a Soul Midwife with Felicity Warner giving Tender Loving Care workshops on accompanying the dying with awareness. Kate enjoys organising and giving poetry readings in performance and is passionate about books and libraries and bookshops. She actively supports the movement to keep all local libraries open.