Theatre As Human Action / Edition 1

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Unlike other introductory theatre textbooks that are often written for theatre majors and assume a considerable amount of previous knowledge, this text is designed for the general education student in college - one who may not be familiar with very many plays and has only seen a limited number of theatre productions. Because it can be difficult to make references to works that students are already familiar with, this text focuses on just four plays: the tragedy Macbeth, the American classic Our Town, the landmark African American drama A Raisin in the Sun, and the contemporary rock musical Rent. At the beginning of the text, each play is described with plot synopses (and suggested video versions), and then these four representative works are referred to throughout the book. By using these four model plays, this textbook aims to inform the student about theatre arts, stimulate interest in the art form, lead to critical thinking about theatre, and prepare the student to be a more informed and critical theatregoer. The textbook looks at both the theoretical and practical aspects of theatre arts, from the nature of theatre and drama to how it reflects society to explaining the processes that playwrights, actors, designers, directors, producers, and critics go through. Finally, the textbook addresses students as contemporary theatregoers and offers ways in which to better view a theatre production, to discuss it critically, and to do a written evaluation of a theatre event. Structured into seven chapters, each looking at a major area or artist - and concluding with the audience and the students themselves - this unique approach to theatre thoroughly addresses all of the major topics to be found in an introduction to theatre text.

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual
...delivers a great deal of information both of a theoretical and practical nature. It is well written and very readable and should be considered by those who teach introduction to theater courses as well as the casual reader who would like to know more about the theater.
Reference and Research Book News
Aimed at non-majors, this textbook uses examples from four well-known plays-Macbeth, Our Town, A Raisin in the Sun, and Rent-to introduce undergraduates to the theatre arts. Coverage includes fundamental theatrical elements such as playwright and script, as well as the actors, directors, and designers who bring it to life. The volume is illustrated with b&w photos of theatre productions.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
...delivers a great deal of information both of a theoretical and practical nature. It is well written and very readable and should be considered by those who teach introduction to theater courses as well as the casual reader who would like to know more about the theater.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810856868
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 86,744
  • Product dimensions: 7.06 (w) x 10.12 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas S. Hischak is professor of theatre at the State University of New York at Cortland. He is the author of thirteen books, including Through the Screen Door: What Happened to the Broadway Musical When it Went to Hollywood (Scarecrow Press, 2004), Enter the Players: New York Stage Actors in the Twentieth Century (Scarecrow Press, 2003), and Boy Loses Girl: Broadway's Librettists (Scarecrow Press, 2002). Hischak is also coeditor of The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 3rd Edition and winner of a Choice "Outstanding Academic Book" award.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments and Credits Part 2 Introduction Part 3 1. THE THEATRE Chapter 4 Theatre vs. Drama Chapter 5 The Theatre Experience Chapter 6 Theatre as Change Chapter 7 Theatre Conventions Chapter 8 Theatre is Plural Chapter 9 Four Theatre Events Part 10 2. THE PLAY Chapter 11 The Script Chapter 12 About Four Scripts Chapter 13 The Elements of Drama Chapter 14 Types of Drama Chapter 15 Dramatic Structure Part 16 3. THE PLAYWRIGHT Chapter 17 The Blueprint Chapter 18 Meet the Playwrights Chapter 19 The Germinal Idea Chapter 20 The Playwright's Process Chapter 21 Evaluating the Playwright's Work Chapter 22 The Business of Playwriting Chapter 23 Meet Twelve American Playwrights Part 24 4. THE PLAY PERFORMERS: THE ACTORS Chapter 25 Acting vs. Role Playing Chapter 26 Acting as an Art and a Craft Chapter 27 A Brief History of Acting Chapter 28 Theories of Acting Chapter 29 An Actor's Tools Chapter 30 The Actor's Process Chapter 31 The Business of Acting Chapter 32 Evaluating the Actor Part 33 5. THE PLAY MAKERS: THE DIRECTOR AND THE PRODUCER Chapter 34 Behind the Scenes Chapter 35 The Art of Directing Chapter 36 Theatre Styles Chapter 37 A Brief History of Directing Chapter 38 The Directing Process Chapter 39 The Business of Directing Chapter 40 Evaluating the Director and Choreographer Chapter 41 The Producer Chapter 42 The Business of Producing Part 43 6. THE PLAY BUILDERS: THE DESIGNERS Chapter 44 Theatre Architecture Chapter 45 Scenic Design Chapter 46 The Scenic Designer's Process Chapter 47 Costume Design Chapter 48 The Costume Designer's Process Chapter 49 Lighting Design Chapter 50 A Brief History of Theatre Lighting Chapter 51 The Function and Elements of Theatre Lighting Chapter 52 The Lighting Designer's Process Chapter 53 Sound Design Chapter 54 Theatre Properties Chapter 55 Makeup in the Theatre Chapter 56 New Technology Chapter 57 The Business of Theatre Design Chapter 58 Evaluating Theatre Design Part 59 7. THE PLAYGOERS: THE AUDIENCE AND THE CRITIC Chapter 60 Theatre Today Chapter 61 Where Theatre Happens Chapter 62 Alternative Theatre Chapter 63 Theatre of Diversity Chapter 64 Foreign Influences Chapter 65 Theatre Criticism Chapter 66 The Student as Critic Chapter 67 Parting Thoughts Part 68 Glossary of Terms Part 69 Websites to Visit Part 70 Film and Video Versions of the Plays Part 71 Index Part 72 About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2006

    one question...

    i just have one queasion about this book... i dont own it, but i found this interesting after reading the publishers review.. if the book focuses on the 4 musicals that are mentioned, then why is a picture of wicked on the cover and nothing else??? im a fan of wicked which is why i took a look at this book.. but then i was puzzeled by the cover compared to the contents... anyone know??

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