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Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2007

    Ball's deep!

    David Ball circuitously describes the creating and production of the theatrical process beginning with the script and ending with the live production. His uniquely specific approach to script analysis provides: the theater practitioner with a perverse array of metaphoric processes by which he or she can obtrusively interpret a play. Using William Shakespeare¿s Hamlet as a stepping-stone, Ball ¿wanders¿ his way from Shakespeare¿s original concept to his own esoteric interpretation like a child in a candy-store reaching for the lollipop on-top-of-the-seven-foot shelf. This, -is delicious! Backwards and Forwards treads water in a quarry of sophomoric action and unmitigated retardation of character. This: one rule '1' there are no rules '2' action is the frontwards momentum achieved when-so-ever character moves from my room to your room '3' THE WORD THREE: 1,2, this is what 'we' are talking about. If it isn¿t, it isn¿t¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    An Excellent Exposition on Dramatic Architecture

    I was introduced to David's slim volume at Duke University where David was chair of the theatre department in the late eighties. Now, as head of publications at one of the nation's premier play publishers in New York City, not a work day goes by that the principles David so concisely and elegantly introduced me to as an undergraduate don't figure into my understanding of what makes for successful drama. Read and take the time to absorb the principles in David's little book, and you will begin to see them everywhere -- on the stage, in films, in novels, in nonfiction, in the newspaper, even in poetry. BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS and a big stack of plays read in the light of it will do more to illuminate drama for you than a hundred other books on the art and craft of theatre by giving you a vocabulary and the ability to identify the fundamental building blocks of drama that most people, even many theatre professionals, have, at best, only an intuitive grasp of.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2001

    Start at the Beginning

    I have used this book since college, although it was not assigned until one of my last theatre classes--I wish I had it from my first day. This book is an indispensible tool for script disection whether you be an actor, director, designer, or English teacher. Throw away all of the other books on play interpretation, and replace it with this small, insightful volume!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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