Theatre / Edition 8

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This lively introduction to theatre offers equal measures of appreciation of theatrical arts, history of performance, and descriptions of the collaborative theatrical crafts. The author's enthusiasm for and knowledge of the current theatre, highlighted by contemporary production shots from around the world, put the students in the front row. The text includes extensive excerpts from seven plays: Prometheus Bound, Oedipus Tyrannos, The York Cycle, Romeo and Juliet, The Bourgeois Gentleman, The Three Sisters, and Happy Days.
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Editorial Reviews

A lively, colorful introduction to theater appreciation, with an overview of theatrical history, vivid accounts of the current theater scene, and descriptions of the collaborative theatrical crafts. Integral to the text are analysis with excerpts of seven plays, including , , and , plus profiles of the work of all types of theater professionals. This fifth edition features a new chapter on musical theater, expanded coverage of Asian theater, and a brief guide to theatergoing. The author is professor of drama at UC-Irvine. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073514185
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 11/30/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT COHEN was the founding chair Drama at the University of California at Irvine, where he continues to serve as the department's Claire Trevor Professor of Drama. He has also been a resident acting teacher at the Actors Center in New York, the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the Korean National Arts University, and the national theatre academies of Hungary, Finland, and Estonia. He is an accomplished stage director, scholar, playwright, drama critic, and teacher.

A director by training (Doctor of Fine Arts, Yale Drama School), Cohen has staged thirteen professional productions at the Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, plus well over a hundred productions at Stages Theatre Center (Hollywood), Virginia Museum Theatre (Richmond), Theatre 40 (Beverly Hills), Image Theatre (Boston), Summer Repertory Theatre (Santa Rosa), the Medieval Drama Project (Irvine), the Manhattan Theatre Source, various universities, and several operas, videos and films.

In addition to Theatre and Theatre: Brief Edition, he is also the author of many theatre books, including Acting One, Advanced Acting, Acting in Shakespeare, Acting Professionally, Acting Power, More Power to You, Giraudoux: Three Faces of Destiny, Creative Play Direction, and two dramatic anthologies. His essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Theatre Forum, Theatre Survey, Modern Drama, Theater der Zeit, Essays in Theatre, On Stage Studies, The Drama Review, Contemporary Literature, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Slavic and East European Performance, Experiment and Innovation, and Dramatic Theory and Criticism.

Cohen’s play, The Prince, published by Dramatic Publishing Company, has been professionally produced in Long Beach, Pittsburgh, Budapest, and in staged readings in New York and Los Angeles; his dramatic translations (The Bourgeois Gentleman, The Misanthrope, Clizia, Tibi’s Law) and opera translations (The Magic Flute, Carmen) have been both produced and published widely.

For the past twenty years, Cohen has been the Southern California drama critic for Plays International, reviewing over two hundred plays. In 1999, he received the national Career Achievement award from ATHE - the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1
Part 1 The Theatre: Its Elements 7
Chapter 1 What Is the Theatre? 9
The Theatre Building 10
The Company, or Troupe, of Players 12
The Occupation of Theatre 13
Work 14
Art 17
Impersonation 17
Performance 21
Chapter 2 What Is a Play? 29
Classifying Plays 30
Duration 30
Genre 31
Structure 40
The Components of a Play 40
The Order of a Play 45
Part 2 The Past 55
Chapter 3 The Greeks 59
The Greek Theatre 59
Origins and Evolution 61
The Birth of the Dithyramb 62
The Classic Period 65
The Theatron 68
The Spectacle 70
The Greek Plays 73
The Three Greek Tragedians 75
Prometheus Bound 75
Oedipus Tyrannos 83
The Roman Theatre 91
Chapter 4 The Middle Ages 95
The Quem Queritis: From Trope to Drama 97
Out of the Church 99
The Corpus Christi Plays at York 101
The York Cycle 106
The Creation and the Fall of Lucifer 106
Man's Disobedience and Fall 111
Chapter 5 The Shakespearean Era 115
The Renaissance 115
Shakespeare 116
The Theatres 118
The Players 124
The Plays 127
The Plays of Shakespeare 131
Romeo and Juliet 131
Italy: The Commedia Dell'Arte 148
Chapter 6 The Theatre of Asia 151
Theatre in Asia 152
The Drama of India 154
Sanskrit Dance-Theatre 155
Kathakali 155
Chinese Opera: Xiqu 157
Xiqu's Origins 157
Staging of Xiqu 158
The Drama of Japan 163
No 163
Kabuki 166
Chapter 7 The Royal Theatre 177
A Theatre for Courts and Kings 178
The Audiences 181
The Dramaturgy 181
Staging Practices 182
The French Theatre 183
The Royal Court and the Tennis Court 183
The Public Theatre Audience 184
Moliere 186
The Bourgeois Gentleman 188
England: The Restoration Theatre 202
The Way of the World 204
Part 3 The Present 207
Chapter 8 The Modern Theatre: Realism 211
Realism 213
A Laboratory 214
Pioneers of Realism 216
Naturalism 218
Anton Chekhov 221
The Three Sisters 222
American Realism 235
Chapter 9 The Modern Theatre: Antirealism 237
The Symbolist Beginnings 237
The Era of "Isms" 240
The Era of Stylization 241
Early Isms and Stylizations: A Sampling of Six Plays 243
The French Avant-Garde: Ubu Roi 243
Intellectual Comedy: Man and Superman 245
Expressionism: The Hairy Ape 247
Theatricalism: Six Characters in Search of an Author 250
Theatre of Cruelty: Jet of Blood 251
Philosophical Melodrama: No Exit 253
Postwar Absurdity and Alienation 255
Theatre of the Absurd 255
Samuel Beckett 256
Happy Days 260
Theatre of Alienation 269
Bertolt Brecht 269
Future Directions in Antirealistic Theatre 272
Chapter 10 The Musical Theatre 275
The Development of the Broadway Musical: America's Contribution 277
The First Phase of the Golden Age: Musical Comedy 278
The Second Phase of the Golden Age: Musical Drama 279
The Modern Musical 281
Stephen Sondheim 281
The Modern Musical: 1960s to 2000 and Beyond 284
Chapter 11 Theatre Today: What, Who, and Where? 291
What's Happening? 291
The Modern and the Postmodern 292
The Crisis of Today's Theatre 293
A Theatre of Revival 293
A Theatre of Postmodern Experiment 295
An Open Theatre 299
Who's Doing It? 310
Pina Bausch and Martha Clarke: Dance-Theatre 311
Eric Bogosian, Spaulding Gray, John Leguizamo, Sherry Glaser, and Anna Deveare Smith: The One-Person Show 312
Ariane Mnouchkine: Theatre de Soleil 314
Julie Taymor: Making the Avant-Garde Commercial 316
Robert Wilson and Performance Art 318
Peter Brook: Intercultural Theatre 321
Where Is It Happening? 324
Broadway 324
Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway 326
The Nonprofit Professional Theatre 327
Shakespeare Festivals 336
Summer and Dinner Theatres 338
Amateur Theatre: Academic and Community 338
Theatre Abroad 340
Conclusions on the Current Theatre? 352
Part 4 The Practitioners 353
Chapter 12 The Actor 355
What Is Acting? 356
The Two Notions of Acting 356
Virtuosity 362
Magic 365
Becoming an Actor 365
The Actor's Instrument 365
The Actor's Approach 371
The Actor's Routine 373
The Audition 373
The Rehearsal 373
The Performance 376
The Actor in Life 379
Chapter 13 The Playwright 381
We Are All Playwrights 382
The Playwright's Career 383
Literary and Nonliterary Aspects of Playwriting 384
Playwriting as Event Writing 385
The Qualities of a Fine Play 386
Credibility and Intrigue 386
Speakability, Stageability, and Flow 390
Richness 391
Gravity and Pertinence 393
Compression, Economy, and Intensity 394
Celebration 396
The Playwright's Process 396
Dialogue 397
Conflict 397
Structure 398
The Playwright's Rewards 398
Contemporary American Playwrights 399
August Wilson 399
Arthur Miller 400
Neil Simon 400
Edward Albee 402
Lanford Wilson 402
John Guare 403
Terrence McNally 404
Sam Shepard 404
David Mamet 405
Wendy Wasserstein 405
Paula Vogel 406
Beth Henley 408
George C. Wolfe 408
Tony Kushner 408
David Henry Hwang 410
Chapter 14 Designers and Technicians 411
Theatre Architecture 412
Staging Formats 413
Other Architectural Considerations 416
Scenery 417
Scenic Materials 423
The Scene Designer at Work 427
Lighting 427
Photo Essay: Broadway Designer Tony Walton 428
Modern Lighting Design 432
The Lighting Designer at Work 434
Costume 436
The Functions of Costume 436
The Costume Designer at Work 439
Photo Essay: Broadway Designer Patricia Zipprodt 442
Makeup 445
Sound Design 448
Special Effects 449
New Computer Technologies in Theatre Design 449
Technical Production 451
Chapter 15 The Director 455
The Arrival of the Director: A Historical Overview 457
Phase 1 The Teacher-Directors 457
Phase 2 The Realistic Directors 457
Phase 3 The Stylizing Directors 458
The Contemporary Director 460
Directorial Functions 460
Producer and Director 460
Directorial Vision 461
Preparatory Phase 461
Photo Essay: Making Theatre--A Play Is Put Together 466
Implementation Phase 485
The Training of a Director 493
Chapter 16 The Critic 495
Critical Perspectives 496
A Play's Relation to Society 496
A Play's Relation to the Individual 497
A Play's Relation to Art 497
A Play's Relation to Theatre 499
A Play as Entertainment 500
Critical Focus 501
Professional Criticism 501
Student Criticism 506
We Are the Critics 506
Appendix Writing on Theatre 1
Glossary 1
Selected Bibliography 1
Credits 1
Index 1
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