Funny Business: An Introduction to Comedy with Royalty-Free Plays and Sketches

Overview

For big laughs, comedy relies on exaggeration, incongruity, automatism, character inconsistency, surprise and derision. Now a book that defines and demonstrates each of these devices with twenty-two short sketches and one-act plays. This unique overview of high and low comedy defines all comedy genres: absurdism, tragicomedy, farce and melodrama. The different types of comedy are compared to show the differences of each form. A discussion precedes each type of comedy illustrated, explaining the comic devices ...
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Overview

For big laughs, comedy relies on exaggeration, incongruity, automatism, character inconsistency, surprise and derision. Now a book that defines and demonstrates each of these devices with twenty-two short sketches and one-act plays. This unique overview of high and low comedy defines all comedy genres: absurdism, tragicomedy, farce and melodrama. The different types of comedy are compared to show the differences of each form. A discussion precedes each type of comedy illustrated, explaining the comic devices used. Following each sketch or play are notes reviewing what must be considered for acting the roles and preparing the total production. The book explains why references to events, places and people, both past and present, are so important to each play or sketch. The reader will find many insights along the way about how to write and perform each comedy style successfully. The wide variety of scripted drama material included makes the book very user-friendly for teaching, acting practice and live presentations. All characterizations are appropriate student actors in their teens or twenties.

Uses twenty-two sketches and one-act plays to explore the major devices of comedy and various comedic genre.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Julie Hudson
This is a very competent, well organized, and undoubtedly useful tool for a high school drama teacher. Cassady has written an excellent introduction that explains types of comedy and comedic devices, and he follows it up with original examples. Each scene (or "bit," "sketch," "routine"), offers plenty of opportunities for drama students to gain a variety of acting experience. However, although many of the scenes are indeed funny (there is a parody of Father Knows Best that would inspire every teenager to groan, whether they were aware of the series or not), the book is not for entertainment. It is to be used in a classroom setting-it is not something you curl up in bed to read. Cassady obviously respects the student actor and includes material that overworked drama teachers might view as a reach. In the skillful "Mix and Match," he introduces farce complete with doors opening and closing as characters just miss each other, with everything being based on the perfect timing of the performers. Not simple! The author's genuine love of the theater comes across in his mini-introductions to each piece. Perhaps seeing new materials looking manageable might refresh the teacher and students. Worth a try. Appendix.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566080378
  • Publisher: Meriwether Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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