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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, as well as shorter excerpts from The Rover and A Doll's House.
Table of contents
PrefaceIntroductionPart 1: The Theatre: Its ElementsChapter 1: What Is the Theatre?The Theatre BuildingThe Company, or Troupe, of PlayersThe Occupation of Theatre Work Art Impersonation Performance Live Performance Scripted and Rehearsed PerformanceChapter 2: What Is a Play?Classifying Plays DurationGenre Tragedy Comedy and Other GenresDramaturgy: The Construction of Drama and Dramatic Performance Drama’s Components: The Vertical Axis Plot Characters Theme Diction Music Spectacle Conventions Drama's Timeline: The Horizontal Axis Preplay Play PostplayNon-Aristotelian Theatre EventsPart 2: The PastChapter 3: The AncientsRitualStorytellingShamanism, Trance, and MagicThe Beginnings of Traditional DramaTraditional Drama in Sub-Saharan Africa Nigerian MasqueradeEgyptian DramaThe Greek Theatre Origins and Evolution The Birth of the Dithyramb The Classic Period The Theatron The Spectacle The City DionysiaThe Greek PlaysPrometheus BoundOedipus Tyrannos The Roman TheatreChapter 4: The Middle AgesThe Quem Queritis: From Trope to DramaOut of the ChurchThe Corpus Christi Plays at YorkThe York Cycle Medieval Morality PlaysChapter 5: The RenaissanceThe Shakespearean Era The Theatres The Players The PlaysThe Plays of ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet Renaissance Theatre in Italy and Spain Italy: Machiaveli and the Commedia dell'Arte Spain's Golden AgeChapter 6: The Theatre of AsiaTheatre in AsiaThe Drama of India Sanskrit Dance-Theatre KathakaliChinese Opera: Xiqu Xiqu’s Origins Staging of XiquThe Drama of Japan Nō Kabuki Kabuki's Origins Visualizing Kabuki Kabuki Plays Kabuki Theatres Kabuki Scenery Kabuki Music Kabuki Actor Families Kabuki Acting Style Kabuki Costumes and Wigs Kabuki Actor-Training and Rehearsals Kabuki Actors' Assistants Kabuki Acting Moments The Kabuki Audience Kabuki and Artistic Creativity Kabuki Today Bunraku: Japan's Puppet Theatre Asian Theatre TodayChapter 7: The Royal EraA Theatre for Courts and Kings Dramaturgy Staging PracticesThe French Theatre The Royal Court and the Tennis Court The Public Theatre Audience MolièreThe Bourgeois Gentleman England: The Restoration TheatreThe RoverPart 3: The Modern and the NowChapter 8: The Modern Theatre: RealismRomantic BeginningsRealism: Likeness to Life A Laboratory Henrik Ibsen: The Pioneer of RealismA Doll's House The Spread of Realism Naturalism Anton Chekhov: The High Point of RealismThe Three Sisters American Realism Eugene O’Neill Clifford Odets Arthur Miller Tennessee Williams August Wilson Realism and the American CinemaChapter 9: The Modern Theatre: AntirealismSymbolist BeginningsThe Era of "Isms"Early Isms and Stylizations: A Sampling of Five Plays The French Avant-Garde: Ubu Roi Intellectual Comedy: Man and Superman Expressionism: The Hairy Ape Metatheatre: Six Characters in Search of an Author Theatre of Cruelty: Jet of BloodPostwar Alienation and Absurdity Theatre of Alienation: Bertolt Brecht Theatre of the Absurd: Samuel BeckettHappy Days Future Directions in Antirealistic TheatreChapter 10: The Musical TheatreThe Role of Music in Theatre HistoryThe Development of the Broadway Musical: America's Contribution Musical Comedy: Gershwin, Kern, Darktown Follies, and Rodgers and Hart A Golden AgeThe Contemporary Musical The Emergence of Choreographer-Directors Stephen Sondheim Black Musicals Foreign Invasions: British, French, Swedish, and Disney Musicals of the Twenty-first CenturyChapter 11: Theatre TodayWhat's Happening? A Theatre of Postmodern Experiment A Nonlinear Theatre An Open Theatre A Diverse TheatrePhoto Essay: Theatre in the Borderlands A Global Theatre A Macaronic Theatre A Theatre of Difference A Theatre of Nontraditional Casting Spectacular Theatre Verbatim Theatre A Dangerous Theatre A Theatre of Community Movement Art and Dance-Theatre Solo PerformanceThree Theatre-Makers in the Theatre Today Peter Brook Robert Wilson Julie TaymorTheatre Today: Where Can You Find It? New York City Broadway Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway Regional American Theatre: Not for Profit Boston Chicago Los Angeles Minneapolis Seattle Washington, D.C. Shakespeare Festivals Summer and Dinner Theatres Amateur Theatre: Academic and Community International Theatre Beyond North AmericaConclusions about Theatre Today?Part 4: The PractionersChapter 12: The ActorWhat Is Acting? The Paradox of Acting - from Socrates to Stanislavsky Acting Today Acting from the Inside: The Stanislavsky Legacy Emotion Memory Acting from the Outside The Actor as Virtuoso Putting It Together MagicBecoming an Actor The Approach The Actor's Instrument Voice and Speech The Psychological InstrumentPhoto Essay: Actor Patrick Stewart Movement DisciplineThe Actor's Routine Audition Rehearsal PerformanceThe Actor in LifeChapter 13: The PlaywrightWe Are All PlaywrightsLiterary and Nonliterary Aspects of PlaywrightingPlaywrighting as Event WritingThe Qualities of a Fine Play Credibility and Intrigue Speakability, Stageability, and Flow Richness Depth of Characterization Gravity and Pertinence Compression, Economy, and Intensity CelebrationThe Playwright's Process Dialogue Conflict StructureThe Playwright's RewardsA Sampling of Current American Playwrights David Mamet Tony Kushner David Henry Hwang Neil LaBute Lynn NottagePhoto Essay: Playwright Neil LaButeChapter 14: Designers and TechniciansThe Design ProcessWhat Design DoesScenery Scenic Materials The Scene Designer at WorkPhoto Essay: Scene Designer Tony Walton The Scene Designer at WorkLighting Modern Lighting Design The Lighting Designer at WorkPhoto Essay: Lighting Designer Don Holder Costumes The Functions of Costume The Costume Designer at WorkPhoto Essay: Costume Designer Catherine Zuber Makeup Sound DesignPhoto Essay: Sound Designer Scott Lehrer Projection Design Special Effects Digital Technologies in Theatre Design The Technical Production TeamPhoto Essay: Stage Manager Michael McGoffChapter 15: The DirectorThe Arrival of the Director: A Historical Overview Teacher-Directors Realistic Directors Stylizing Directors The Contemporary DirectorPhoto Essay: Director Susan Stroman Director and Producer Vision and Leadership Play Selection Conceptualizing Designer Selection Director-Designer CollaborationPhoto Essay: The School for Wives Casting Implementation Staging Actor-Coaching Pacing Coordinating Presenting The Training of a DirectorChapter 16: The Critic and the DramaturgCritical and Dramaturgical Perspectives Social Significance Human Significance Artistic Quality Relationship to the Theatre Itself Entertainment ValueCritical and Dramaturgical Focus Professional Criticism Professional Dramaturgy Student Criticism and DramaturgyWe Are the CriticsGlossarySelected BibliographyCreditsIndex
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.