Higher Education

Theatre: A Way of Seeing, 7th Edition

  • Milly S. Barranger University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • ISBN-10: 1133309895  |  ISBN-13: 9781133309895
  • 416 Pages
  • © 2015 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $110.25
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Consistently praised as "streamlined" and "clear and student friendly," THEATRE: A WAY OF SEEING offers the beginning theatre student an exciting, full-color introduction to all aspects of theatre. It presents the experience of theatre, who sees it, what is seen, and where and how it is seen largely from the viewpoint of audiences exposed to a complex, living art that involves people, spaces, plays, designs, staging, forms, language, and productions. The book includes the appropriate coverage of the history, diversity, and most critical moments in theatre in a way that encourages students to experience theatre as "a performing art and humanistic event."

Features and Benefits

  • The unique organization clearly outlines and answers "What is theatre?" "Who 'makes' theatre?" and "How do we see and experience theatre?"
  • "Model" or representative plays are included as examples of trends, styles, and forms of theatrical production to assist readers and theatre-goers. Ranging from the Greeks to the moderns, these representative plays include Oedipus the King, Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, The Life of Galileo, The Bald Soprano, Buried Child, Fences, Juan Darién, the CIVIL warS, and Glengarry Glen Ross. The musical stage is represented by such musicals as Oklahoma!, West Side Story, Hair, and Miss Saigon.
  • All discussions in the book are supported by artists' insights, artists, and writers talking about their work, texts and scenes from plays, biographical sketches, diagrams and definitions, and colorful photographs of Eastern and Western stages and productions.
  • Cultural diversity and intercultural expressions of world theatre are threads woven throughout the fifteen chapters. Western and Eastern cultural and theatrical traditions, stages, and architecture are presented in their historical and present-day contexts.
  • Full-color throughout, the dynamic and new design visually enhances students' learning experience. Photos of playwrights, directors, actors, and key performances give a fresh, visual appeal.
  • End-of-chapter website listings (for which direct links can be found at CourseMate) provide opportunities for further exploration, class assignments, research, and entertainment.

Table of Contents

1. Discovering Theatre.
The Immediate Art. Theatre's Immediacy. Theatre's Aliveness. Reflections in the Mirror. Theatre's Fictions. Theatre's Spaces. Theatre's Audiences.
2. The Seeing Place.
Ritual and Theatre. Theatrical Performance. Western Theatre. Eastern Theatre.
3. Alternative Theatrical Spaces.
Environmental Theatre. Forerunners of Alternative Approaches. The Polish Laboratory Theatre. The Living Theatre. Théâtre du Soleil. The Bread and Puppet Theatre. The Free Southern Theatre.
4. Image Maker: The Playwright.
The Play and the Audience. The Playwright's Beginnings. The Playwright's Role. The Playwright's Tools. The Playwright's Industry. New American Writing: Alternative Voices.
5. Theatrical Writing: Perspectives and Forms.
Drama's Perspectives. Tragedy. Comedy. Tragicomedy. Melodrama. Farce. Stage Adaptations. Epic Theatre. Absurdist Theatre.
6. Structures of Seeing.
The Playwright's Art. Play Structures. Recent Structures. Postmodern Texts. Visual and Audio Texts.
7. Drama's Conventions.
Writing Strategies. Conventions of Time. Conventions of Metaphor.
8. Stage Language.
Language for the Theatre. Types of Stage Language. Contemporary Trends in American Theatre.
9. Image Maker: The Actor.
Acting – As Imagination and Technique. The Actor's Reality. The Actor's Training. Trends in Training American Actors. Actors at Work.
10. Image Maker: The Director.
Forerunners. Director as Artist. Directors at Work. Staging: Approaches and Styles. Director as Auteur.
11. Image Makers: Designers: Scenery, Costumes, Makeup, Masks, Wigs, and Puppets.
The Scene Designer. The Costume Designer. Makeup, Masks, Wigs, and Puppets.
12. Image Makers: Designers: Lighting and Sound.
The Lighting Designer. The Sound Designer. Computer-Aided Design for Scenery, Costumes, Lighting, Sound. Technical Production.
13. Image Makers: Producers.
Producing on Broadway. Producing Off Broadway. Producing in Regional Theatres.
14. The American Musical.
Musical Books, Composers, Lyricists, Choreographers, and Megamusicals. Precedents. An American Musical Idiom. Post-Second World War Musical Theatre. Musical Theatre at Midcentury. Sixties Alternatives to Broadway Musicals. New Directions. British Megamusicals. Broadway's Audiences.
15. Viewpoints.
Criticism. Seeing Theatre. The Professional Critic.

What's New

  • All chapters have been revised to incorporate new subjects, artists, productions, and photographs. For instance, the overview of solo texts and performance art (Chapter 6) includes Spalding Gray, Anna Deavere Smith, and others. Analyses of play structures, stage conventions, and language include examples from works by playwrights ranging from William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen to Sam Shepard and Robert Wilson.
  • Chapters 11 and 12 on theatrical design have been expanded to include the emergence of women designers in the commercial theatre, and the increasing use of puppetry in design and staging.
  • Chapters 13 and 14 have been updated to feature new producers and the choreographer-directors who are shaping American drama and musicals along with the new producing organizations whose purpose is to bring diversity to America's stages.
  • Chapter 15 on theatre criticism has been expanded to include both pioneering critics and national critics who influence the audience interest in shows from Chicago to Seattle to the web.
  • Issues of cultural and ethnic diversity in performance have been incorporated throughout the book to illustrate this dynamic at work in world theatre.
  • Newly named "Focus" boxes ("Focus on Theatre," "Focus on People in Theater") present new and updated content to complement the ongoing discussion of playwrights, artists, creative teams, producers, staging conventions, hip hop expressions, and theatrical business (such as "open calls").
  • New colorful photographs illustrate the artists and productions being discussed, illuminating the content and enhancing the book's visual appeal.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + CourseMate Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1285939158  | ISBN-13: 9781285939155

List Price = $159.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $120.25

This Bundle Includes:

  • Theatre: A Way of Seeing
    List Price = $146.95  | CengageBrain Price = $146.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $110.25
  • CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card
    List Price = $102.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $76.00

Printed Text + CourseMate Instant Access

ISBN-10:  1305612132 | ISBN-13:  9781305612136

List Price = $159.95  | CengageBrain Price = $159.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $120.25

This Bundle Includes:

  • Theatre: A Way of Seeing
    List Price = $146.95  | CengageBrain Price = $146.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $110.25
  • CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access
    List Price = $102.00  | CengageBrain Price = $102.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $102.00

Efficacy and Outcomes


"Some of the greatest strengths of the text are its reading level, colorful and numerous pictures, sidebars, and the organization of content."

— Tracy L. McAfee, Washington State Community College

"The content is absolutely 'pitch perfect' for the capabilities of the student."

— Jay Malarcher, West Virginia University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285978048 | ISBN-13: 9781285978048)

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1285463323 | ISBN-13: 9781285463322)

The Instructor's Manual contains resources designed to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation.

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285463390 | ISBN-13: 9781285463391)

Cengage Learning's Communication CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. The MindTap® Reader is included. Watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website. Communication CourseMate goes beyond the book to deliver what you need!

List Price = $102.00  | CengageBrain Price = $102.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $102.00

LMS Integrated for CourseMate™, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285865073 | ISBN-13: 9781285865072)

List Price = $102.00  | CengageBrain Price = $102.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $102.00

Student Supplements

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285463390 | ISBN-13: 9781285463391)

The more you study, the better the results. Make the most of your study time by accessing everything you need to succeed in one place. Read your textbook and take notes in the MindTap® Reader, review flashcards, watch videos, and take practice quizzes--online with CourseMate.

List Price = $102.00  | CengageBrain Price = $102.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $102.00

LMS Integrated for CourseMate™, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285865073 | ISBN-13: 9781285865072)

List Price = $102.00  | CengageBrain Price = $102.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $102.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Milly S. Barranger

A past president of the National Theatre Conference and the American Theatre Association and member of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre, Milly Barranger is highly regarded and a well-respected author of many books and articles on theatre and drama. She is currently Distinguished Professor Emerita of Theatre History and Theory at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.