The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre / Edition 5

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Overview

The Creative Spirit includes five complete plays: Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson, And the Soul Shall Dance by Wakako Yamauchi, Angels in America by Tony Kushner, Dog Lady by Milcha Sanchez-Scott, Buried Child by Sam Shepard. Focusing on the collaborative and creative processes that go into productions, Stephanie Arnold introduces students to the theatre through engaging and accessible plays and through the playwrights who craft the play texts and the theatre practitioners who bring those texts to life on the stage. A rich context is provided for each play with a discussion of the playwright's biography and sources, timelines that provide historical and cultural background, and a case study of an actual production of the play to give students a sense of experiencing theatre from the inside. Includes new interviews with theatre professionals about their work. Offers a vibrant visual presentation with full-color photographs throughout including over fifty new photographs of many exciting new plays and revivals such as Anna in the Tropics, Cathay, Gem of the Ocean, Electricidad, 9 Parts of Desire, The Pillowman, All's Well that Ends Well, Awake and Sing, Hedda Gabler, Medea, Much Ado About Nothing, The Soldier's Tale, and The Teahouse. Features more coverage of writing about the theatre including information on the contributions of the dramaturg and the critic and a new appendix of guided writing assignments such as reviewing productions and conducting interviews. Emphasizes the diverse and vibrant roots of the theatre with expanded materials on Latino theatre as well as Chinese and Chinese-American theatre in addition to the rich presentation of diversity already in thebook.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Incorporates the complete texts of Wilson's , Yamauchi's , Sanchez-Scott's , and Shepard's ; significant excerpts from Kushner's ; and commentary by over 30 playwrights, actors, directors, and other theater professionals into an introduction to drama text. Chapters discuss the history of theater; the elements that shape the playwrights' visions; the realist and theatricalist choices of style; the work of actors, directors, and designers; and finally, a blueprint for the production of a student project. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073382173
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 1/8/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 222,938
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Arnold received her B.A. degree in English from Stanford University and then continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin where she received an M.F.A. degree in directing and a Ph.D. in dramatic literature and theory. Before joining the Lewis & Clark College faculty in 1986, she taught at Mills College and the University of California, Riverside.

Stephanie Arnold teaches acting, directing, and dramatic literature including a special topics course in Latino Theatre. The productions she has directed include works by classical and contemporary playwrights as well as musicals and opera. She is currently at work on the fifth edition of her textbook, The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre, which is published by McGraw-Hill and in use at colleges and universities around the country. She has recently returned from leading the Lewis & Clark College off campus study program to New York City.

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Table of Contents


Preface     xxi
The Nature of Theatre     1
The Impulse to Perform     3
Personal Performance     5
Community Performance     5
Ritual Performance among the Hopi     8
Kachina Performances     8
The Hopi Performer     8
Performance as Community Obligation     10
Professional Performance: Four Stories     10
Bill Irwin: Physical Humor     10
Anna Deavere Smith: The Power of Words     12
Neil Marcus: Storyteller and Dancer     13
Frances McDormand: Creation of Character     15
Why They Perform     17
Summary     20
Topics for Discussion and Writing     20
Suggestions for Further Reading     20
Theatre and Society     23
The Power of the Theatre     24
Society and Aesthetic Expression     25
The Collective and Public Nature of Theatre     26
Theatre as a Social Force     26
Theatre and Religious Festivals     27
The Greek Theatre: Athens, Fifth Century B.C.E.     28
The Origin of Greek Theatre in the Worship of Dionysus     28
Medea   Euripides     30
Staging Conventions     31
The Medieval Mystery Cycle     35
Staging and Production: A Community Endeavor     36
Aesthetic Expression: A Shared, Sacred Language     36
The Role of the Mystery Cycles in Medieval Society     37
The Professional Theatre     38
The Elizabethan Theatre     39
The Theatre in Society     39
The Nature of Elizabethan Drama     40
William Shakespeare     41
Elizabethan Staging     43
Acting in Elizabethan Dramas     45
The Beijing Opera of China     45
A Formal Society     46
Playwrights and Plays     46
A Language of Gesture     47
Acting and Staging     48
The Beijing Opera and the Communist Revolution     50
Theatre as a Mirror of Society     51
Theatre and Social Change     52
The Sustaining Power of the Theatre: Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo     55
Summary     57
Topics for Discussion and Writing     58
Suggestions for Further Reading     58
The Nature of Performance: The Theatre Practitioners     61
The Playwright's Vision      63
Looking at Joe Turner's Come and Gone   August Wilson
Exploring the Text of Joe Turner's Come and Gone     66
Plot and Characters: A Meeting of Two Worlds     67
Historical and Cultural Contexts of the Play     68
Theatre as History     69
The Aftermath of Slavery: Peonage and Sharecropping     69
Migration to the North     69
The Metaphor of the Road     70
The Oral Tradition     71
The Playwright's Sources     71
Bessie Smith and Romare Bearden     71
Mill Hand's Lunch Bucket     73
Folk Sources and W. C. Handy     73
The Complete Text of Joe Turner's Come and Gone     76
Producing Joe Turner's Come and Gone     115
The Construction of Meaning Through Collaboration     115
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival     115
The Actors at Work     116
Understanding the Play     116
The Rehearsal Process     117
Physical Characterization     119
Staging the Juba     120
Drumming and Dancing     120
Text and Verbal Improvisation     121
The Meaning of the Juba     122
Expanding the Stage Image: The Work of the Designers      123
The Set Design     124
The Costume Design     125
The Lighting Design     126
Conclusion: History and Meaning in Joe Turner's Come and Gone     127
The Quest for Self     127
Family and Inheritance: The Way from the Past to the Future     128
Summary     129
Topics for Discussion and Writing     129
Suggestions for Further Reading     130
The Art of the Actor     133
The Presence of the Actor     134
The Actor's Craft     136
The Work of the Actor     138
Competing for Roles: The Audition     138
Preparing for the Role     140
The Rehearsal Process     141
Approaches to Acting     146
The Internal Approach     146
The External Approach     147
Acting Cordelia in King Lear     148
Gestural Acting     150
The Performance     153
Theatre and Film     154
Becoming an Actor     155
Summary     156
Topics for Discussion and Writing     157
Suggestions for Further Reading     157
The Director     159
The History of the Director     160
The Director and the Development of Realism     160
The Director and the Determination of Style     163
The Visionary Director: Jerzy Grotowski     164
Ping Chong     166
Approaches to Directing     170
The Director at Work     171
Choosing the Play     171
The Director's Initial Response to the Play     173
Creating Metaphors     173
Working With the Actors     175
Casting     175
Nontraditional Casting     176
The Work Environment     176
Improvisation     177
Staging the Play     178
Focus     178
Spatial Composition and Character Development     180
Rhythm and Pacing     180
Preparing the Play for Performance     181
The Director's Training     182
Summary     183
Topics for Discussion and Writing     184
Suggestions for Further Reading     184
The Designers     187
StageCraft and the Theatre     189
The Theatrical Space     190
The Proscenium Theatre     191
Thrust, Arena, and Black Box Stages     191
The Implications of Theatre Architecture for Designers     191
Three-Dimensional Space     194
Meetings and Interactions     195
The History of Scene Design     198
Scene Design Today     200
Designing The Grapes of Wrath     200
Costume Design     203
Stylistic Unity     204
The Psychology of Character     205
The Costume Designer and the Actor     207
Lighting Design     208
The History of Light in the Theatre     209
The Lighting Designer's Materials     209
Conceptualizing with Light     210
The Light Plot and Light Cues     211
Visibility     211
Focus     212
Mood and Atmosphere     212
The Rhythm of Light     212
The Growing Prominence of Sound Design     213
The Integration of Sound into the Production Process     213
The Sound Designer's Materials     213
Environmental Sound and Sound Reinforcement     215
Summary     215
Topics for Discussion and Writing     216
Suggestions for Further Reading     217
The Musical Theatre      219
Origins of Musical Theatre in America     220
The Broadway Theatre     221
Oklahoma!     221
West Side Story     223
My Fair Lady     224
Cabaret     226
Stephen Sondheim     228
A Chorus Line     230
New Directions for the Musical Theatre     232
Savion Glover and Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk     232
Jonathan Larson and Rent     234
Julie Taymor and The Lion King     235
Susan Stroman and Contact     238
Summary     240
Topics for Discussion and Writing     241
Suggestions for Further Reading     241
The Nature of Style: Realism and Theatricalism     243
Understanding Style: Realism     245
Introduction to Realism     246
"Realistic Elements in Joe Turner's Come and Gone     246
Realism in Film     247
Origins of Realism     248
The Social Background of Realism     249
European Realism     250
Henrik Ibsen     250
August Strindberg     251
Anton Chekhov     251
American Realism     253
Lillian Hellman     253
Poetic Realism: Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams     254
Konstantin Stanislavsky and Realistic Acting     256
Summary     257
Topics for Discussion and Writing     260
Suggestions for Further Reading     261
Expressing a Worldview Through Realism     263
Looking at And the Soul Shall Dance   Wakako Yamauchi
Exploring the Text of and the Soul Shall Dance     264
Plot and Characters     265
Personal, Cultural, and Historical Contexts of the Play     265
The Play as Memory     265
Personal History     268
Prejudice, Discrimination, and Internment     268
The Play as Social Document     269
Evoking a World Through Detail     270
The Complete Text of and the Soul Shall Dance     272
Producing and the Soul Shall Dance     303
Introduction to East West Players     303
History of East West Players     303
Location and Physical Space     303
Staging the Play     305
The Director's Prologue     305
The Influence of Asian Theatre     306
Staging a Period Play: The Work of the Director and the Actors      306
Building Character Relationships     310
Contrasting Productions: East West Players and Northwest Asian American Theatre     313
Scene Design and the Physical Space     313
Interpreting Family Relationships     313
Sexuality and Gender     315
Summary     316
Topics for Discussion and Writing     317
Suggestions for Further Reading     317
Understanding Style: Theatricalism     319
Exposing the Mechanics of the Theatre     321
Expressionism     321
German Expressionism     322
American Expressionism: Eugene O'Neill     323
Epic Theatre: Bertolt Brecht     325
Brecht's Concept of Alienation     326
Brecht's Approach to Acting     327
Theatre of the Absurd     328
A Revolution in Movement: Martha Graham     329
A New Dance Vocabulary     329
Costume and Set as Partners in Dance     331
Total Theatre: Robert Wilson     331
Wilson's Experience     332
The Interior Landscape     332
A New Meeting of East and West; Shen Wei     333
From Opera to Modern Dance     333
Choreographer and Designer      335
Summary     336
Topics for Discussion and Writing     336
Suggestions for Further Reading     337
Expressing a Worldview through Theatricalism     339
Looking at Angels in America: Millennium Approaches   Tony Kushner
Exploring the Text of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches     341
Plot and Characters: A World in Spiritual Collapse     341
The Role of Roy Cohn     342
The Shifting Point of View     342
Influences on Kushner as Playwright: Bertolt Brecht and Caryl Churchill     342
The Historical Framework of Angels in America     344
The Character Roy Cohn as a Historical Figure     345
Roy Cohn and the Plot of Angels in America     347
Roy Cohn and Ethel Rosenberg     348
The Complete Text of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches     350
Producing Angels in America     398
The Eureka Theatre and the Playwright     398
The Role of the Dramaturg     398
The Developmental Process     400
Expanding Opportunities for the Development of New Plays     404
Summary     405
Topics for Discussion and Writing     405
Suggestions for Further Reading     406
The Nature of Drama: Structure and Genre     407
The Elements of Drama and Dramatic Structure     409
Fundamental Elements of Structure     410
Character     410
Plot     411
Language     412
Music     417
Spectacle     417
The Organization of the Drama in Space and Time     419
The Duration of the Performance     419
Building the Drama: The Internal Rhythm     420
Conflict, Rising Tension, and Resolution     420
Summary     422
Topics for Discussion and Writing     423
Suggestions for Further Reading     423
Genre     425
Introduction to Genre     426
Tragedy and Comedy     427
Origins in Greek Drama     428
Aristotle on Tragedy and Comedy     428
Tragedy: Catharsis and Awareness     429
Plot Summaries of Selected Tragedies     429
Common Themes of Tragedy     431
Can Tragedy Exist Today?     432
Melodrama     434
Tragicomedy     436
Farce     439
Writing About the Theatre     440
The Dramaturg      441
The Critic     443
Two Reviews of Medea     445
Summary     450
Topics for Discussion and Writing     450
Suggestions for Further Reading     451
Choosing a Genre: Comedy     453
Looking at Dog Lady   Milcha Sanchez-Scott
Exploring the Text of Dog Lady     454
Plot and Characters     454
The Playwright's Sources: An Intersection of Cultures     455
Characteristics of the Play     456
Blended Language     456
Magical Realism     457
Reinterpreting Catholic Imagery: The Virgin of Guadalupe     458
A Latina Identity     460
The Complete Text of Dog Lady     461
Producing Dog Lady     473
Intar     473
Set Design and Ming Cho Lee     473
Pop Art and Forced Perspective     473
Breaking the Illusion     474
Staging and Acting     474
Sight Gags     476
Vocal Style     477
Using Comedy to Shift the Worldview     478
Summary     479
Topics for Discussion and Writing     480
Suggestions for Further Reading     480
The Project      483
Looking at Buried Child   Sam Shepard
Preparing a Production     484
Buried Child and Alternative Play Choices     484
Introduction to Sam Shepard     485
Alternative Plays     487
Working on the Project     487
Sequence of Work     487
Topics for Group Discussion (Group Meeting 1)     488
Group Decisions (Group Meeting 2)     488
Project Assignments     488
The Director     488
Character Analysis     489
Scene Design     489
Costume Design     490
Music     491
Program Note     492
Poster     492
Conclusion     492
The Complete Text of Buried Child     493
Suggestion for Further Reading     532
Guided Writing Assignments     533
Notes     539
Glossary     545
Credits     551
Index     555
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