A! Magazine for the Arts

Herb Parker teaches new actors to "Bark Like a Dog!' and more in new book

November 4, 2013

JOHNSON CITY, TN – "Bark Like a Dog! Outrageous Ideas for Actors" is a new book authored by East Tennessee State University theatre professor Herb Parker.

Published by Spring Knoll Press, "Bark Like a Dog!" gives coaching and easy-to-follow exercises on techniques and improvisations that will help beginning acting students overcome fears, especially the fear of either going "over the top" or falling on their faces.

Parker explains in the introduction that the title of "Bark Like a Dog!" came from a theater workshop he conducted. He wanted a "snazzy, catchy title" that would entice young actors to attend and help them "make bigger, bolder, more risky choices in their acting and auditioning."

He encourages his readers to embrace the outrageous. "Every play, no matter what the genre, is about an outrageous situation," Parker writes. "And taking this thought a step further, it makes sense to me that human beings caught up in an outrageous situation will require means just as outrageous to deal with it."

Parker "analyzes this ancient art in clear, precise, engaging prose while dispensing acute, methodical and perceptive advice," wrote reviewer Eric Peterson, producing artistic director with the Oldcastle Theatre Company, Bennington, Vt. "The exceptional director gently leads the actor toward a fully realized performance and the thoughtful, caring teacher explains it all to the reader."

An actor and director for more than 30 years, Parker is an associate professor in the Division of Theatre and Dance within the ETSU Department of Communication. He holds a B.F.A. degree in theater arts from Stephens College and an M.F.A. degree from Ohio University's Professional Actor Training Program. He joined the ETSU faculty in 2005, and previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stephens College and Volunteer State Community College.