A New Practical Guide to Rhetorical Gesture and Action


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an illustrated book project

documenting contemporary performance in New York City

Gesture Group

A New Practical Guide to Rhetorical Gesture and Action is book project that uses the form of Henry Siddon’s 1807 catalogue of theatrical gestures for the London stage to document the stars and stalwarts of New York’s contemporary experimental theater scene.

Published by 53rd State Press, this beautifully bound book consists of 36 illustrations by Jesse Hawley of leading performers and performance groups reinterpreting gestures from the original. Each reinterpreted gesture is accompanied by commentary by Normandy Raven Sherwood in a poetic subversion of the original’s pedagogical style. This volume also includes an introductory essay by James Stanley contextualizing this work and the original in the histories of acting and actor training.

A gallery show if images and text from the book is currently up at Abrons Arts Center in NYC.

A Book Launch party will be  held at Abrons on Saturday, May 27 from 6:30 – 9:30pm. Come for drinks, conversation and dancing to the sounds of the Vintage DJ.

Order your copy of A New Practical Guide to Rhetorical Gesture and Action HERE.