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As personal technology becomes ever-present in the classroom and rehearsal studio, excessive reliance on smartphones affects the collaborative behaviors needed by actors to do their work. How is the collaborative impulse being stunted, and what are the solutions to re-establish its essential connections?

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A theater practitioner thrives on the ability to be present, empathize, listen, and connect with collaborators; this is true at every level, from performing arts students to established professionals. The authors spent several years reviewing the most current research available to get to the heart of why excessive smartphone use has such a profound effect on human interpersonal skills. Armed with that information, they designed a series of practical approaches for classrooms, rehearsal and performance to nurture collaboration skills while guiding actors to healthy use of technology.

 

Turn That Thing Off! Collaboration and Technology in 21st Century Actor Training describes specific methods and lesson plans to foster essential collaboration skills, paving the way for actors - and everyone - to be more present, available, and generous in their work.

Timely and wildly useful! As our technology continues to pull us out of the real world, it is easy to lose the basic skills of connecting and being present. This fantastic work offers tools and techniques to speak to those very issues. More than that, it also gives the reader a language to start a dialogue with students, performers, co-workers, etc. It offers a pathway to a more engaged presence, both on and off the stage.

–– Christopher Thomasson, director, producer

Finally, something that addresses the 21st century acting student. 

This book is written in a personable, fun style, with testimonials from participating students. It also shares the science behind what's happening to human behavior as a result of technology. As an acting teacher, I found it to be a practical guide to adapting to this very real change in the physical, emotional instruments of young acting students.  

–– Maggie Low, Acting teacher

Everyone should read this! A fantastic, timely book with application beyond Drama classrooms. I work with MBA students and see similar behavior as described in the book. It has also made me look at my own use of my phone and I am adjusting my behavior to ensure that I am more engaged and present in my interactions. Read this book - it will make a difference.

–– Maureen Carpenter, Assistant Dean, Georgetown University