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Drama Audiobook

Drama: An Actor's Education

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Publisher's Summary

In this riveting and surprising personal history, John Lithgow shares a backstage view of his own struggle, crisis, and discovery, revealing the early life and career that took place out of the public eye.

Above all Lithgow’s memoir is a tribute to his most important influence: his father, Arthur Lithgow, who, as an actor, director, producer, and great lover of Shakespeare, brought theater to John’s boyhood. From bedtime stories to Arthur’s illustrious productions, performance and storytelling were constant and cherished parts of family life. Drama details with poignancy and sharp recollection the moments that introduced a budding young actor to the undeniable power of theater.

Before Lithgow gained fame with films like The World According to Garp and television shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun, his early years were full of scenes both hilarious and bittersweet. His ruminations on the nature of theater, film acting, and storytelling cut to the heart of why actors are driven to perform, and why people are driven to watch them do it.

Lithgow chronicles the harrowing moments of his past, reflecting with moving candor on friends made and lost, mistakes large and small, and the powerful love of a father who set him on the road to a life onstage. Illuminating, funny, affecting, and thoroughly engrossing, Drama raises the curtain on the making of one of our most beloved actors.

©2011 John Lithgow (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (331 )
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4.6 (300 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jenni 12-12-12
    Jenni 12-12-12

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Mind Never Wandered"

    I am a relatively new audiobook listener, and I have discovered that I will rate a story 5 stars if my mind doesn't wander. John Lithgow certainly delivered the goods in his autobiography. I enjoyed his life's story, and the way that he told it. He was just as forthright about his not-so-proud moments as he was about the times when he came out the shining star. A decent man, and I truly believe that he has lived a life worth living... and telling about!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pseudo I washington, DC 12-11-12
    Pseudo I washington, DC 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "John Lithgow is the consummate dramatist"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Drama to be better than the print version?

    John Lithgow is peerless in his ability to tell a tale. Hearing him is a treat.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Lithgow tells great stories of "brushes with fame" in his youth and encounters with theater greats. Even when he is not "telling all," he is compelling and reads so well.


    Any additional comments?

    To my mind, this was the perfect audiobook--great stories told by the ultimate perfomer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 10-16-12
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 10-16-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent Writer, Excellent Narrator"

    To me, it is always a treat to listen to a book read by the author. This was a double delight as John Lithgow is both an excellent writer and skilled narrator. I was ambivalent about John Lithgow (hadn't seen much of his work) prior to listening to Drama but came out with a great admiration for this well educated, humble man. This is not a book full of tidbits and gossip about the Hollywood or Broadway scene but truly a tale about the difficult journey to finding success in the acting world, regardless how talented or smart you may be.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Dallas, TX, United States 08-04-12
    Melissa Dallas, TX, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Great"
    Would you listen to Drama again? Why?

    Yes, wonderful story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John.


    What does John Lithgow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice is amazing, he brings the story to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I fInished as fast as I could.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Metung, Australia 12-03-15
    Steve Metung, Australia 12-03-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Very good"

    Mr Lithgow has a brilliant speaking voice and combine this with an interesting life in the theatre/TV/film makes for a very enjoyable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Critic 09-05-15
    The Critic 09-05-15

    The Critic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Egoist"
    What disappointed you about Drama?

    I know, actors ARE egoists; however this was unbearable and tedious so I didn't finish it. John prattles on about how wonderful he is for realizing his own faults, still oblivious to the egotism buried in his statements. The feigned humility used throughout feels so omni-present all the time I got tired of the boasting. The book reads like a narcissist who realizes that narcissism is bad so the author covers up his real pretentiousness with a phoniness that oozes in the background. NO!: John didn't go to Harvard, he was a simply country boy who found himself at Harvard. It's was more like an accident really... Constantly portraying himself as the guy who didn't fit in but magically found himself in roles where he was the center of attention, John manages to evince that he just stumbled through his social life without doing much to manipulate anything.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    3 hours of Lithow's ego was enough thanks.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Read a different book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Drama?

    Chapters 2 onwards.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebreezy 04-03-14
    Rebreezy 04-03-14
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    "Absolutely fabulous!"
    Would you listen to Drama again? Why?

    Yes, I imagine I'll listen to this one again. Lithgow is a wonderful storyteller and as someone who's done theater all my life, I found the content fascinating and timeless. I don't think, however, you'd need any background in theater to enjoy it immensely.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, John Lithgow, of course!


    What does John Lithgow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's a wonderful actor, which makes his narration incredibly engaging. And, of course, he is very much invested in his own experiences, which only adds to the pleasure of the listener.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! Thank heavens I had a long car ride which allowed me to listen to it all the way there and all the way home. I still was so sad when it was over. I didn't want it to end.


    Any additional comments?

    Truly one of my most favorite Audible books ever!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-07-13
    Brian ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yawn.....!!!!"

    I like watching John Lithgow in movies and TV shows, but was very bored with the story and could not finish it. Sorry.....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor W Faller Connecticut, USA 02-08-13
    Eleanor W Faller Connecticut, USA 02-08-13 Member Since 2009
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    "an excellent insight into an actor's development"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in learning about "where actors come from" and in learning more about an interesting person's growth and development. John Lithgow reads his own story, and who better! His narration is a good listen, and there is no question that he knows the subject. I had met John in the early 1970's when he worked at a local theater so I was curious to know more about him. He was a nice guy then, and now I know much more about why he is who he is, and I enjoyed the story of his life. While Lithgow has done a lot of acting, he may not be at the top of the list of "most well known" actors, but that does not prevent the book from being an engrossing and educational listen. Some actor's auto- or bio-graphies tend to be filled with name-dropping and/or self-glorified tales. This book is not that way at all, and reveals more of a personal perspective on the growth of an actor. I really enjoyed the book!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Oliver, British Columbia, Canada 01-13-13
    Sandra Oliver, British Columbia, Canada 01-13-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful!"
    If you could sum up Drama in three words, what would they be?

    Fantastic engaging storytelling


    What about John Lithgow’s performance did you like?

    He is a consummate storyteller.


    Any additional comments?

    I actually want to listen to it all again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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