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Watch With Jen - S3: E16 - "The Method" with Isaac Butler

Apr 18, 2022

This week, I was so pleased to welcome to the podcast a fellow writer and a tennis fan - yes, I had to get that in there - Isaac Butler. Co-author of "The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America," which NPR.Org named one of the best books of 2018, Isaac Butler’s writing has appeared in "New York Magazine," "Slate," "The Guardian," "American Theatre," and other publications. For "Slate," he created and hosted "Lend Me Your Ears," a podcast about Shakespeare and politics and he currently co-hosts "Working," a pod dedicated to the creative process. 

Additionally, a director whose work has been seen on stages across the country, he is the co-creator of "Real Enemies," a multimedia exploration of conspiracy theories in the American psyche, which was not only named one of the best live events of 2015 by "The New York Times" but has also been adapted into a feature-length film. An MFA graduate in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota who teaches theater history and performance at the New School and elsewhere, most recently, he became the author of the richly detailed, utterly fascinating book "The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act," which is what we’re here to talk about today.  

Joining me to share stories involving the history of The Method as well as its many practitioners, we discuss some of the eye-opening and enlightening discoveries that Isaac made as he wrote his terrific new book. Following that, we take a deeper look at the Method performances of everyone from John Garfield to Jessica Lange that are on display in the films "Four Daughters," "Wild River," "Paris Blues," and "Frances" (1982).

Referenced & Related:

Isaac Butler on Twitter 

Isaac's Books: "The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act" at Bloomsbury & "The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America" 

Stanislavski on the Holy Nature of Art 

Rod Steiger in "Marty" on YouTube 

Referenced & Related Episodes: Dana Stevens on "Camera Man," Buster Keaton, & Friends, On International Dysfunctional Family Films including "The Celebration" with Steven Santos, With Karina Longworth on "The Young Lions," Charles Laughton with James Urbaniak, On "Sweet Dreams" with Kate Gabrielle, "Reds" - 2 episodes - 1 with Carrie Courogen & 1 with Rob & Sandi Belushi, & Hal Ashby with Duncan Birmingham.

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