Higher Education

The Art of Theatre: A Concise Introduction, 2nd Edition

  • William Missouri Downs
  • Lou Anne Wright University of Wyoming
  • Erik Ramsey Ohio University
  • ISBN-10: 0495391034  |  ISBN-13: 9780495391036
  • 352 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2007
  • © 2010 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $165.25
  • Newer Edition Available

About

Overview

THE ART OF THEATRE: A CONCISE INTRODUCTION, Second Edition, explores issues of diversity and creativity, presents a full day-in-the-life of theatre, and offers briefer coverage of theatre history. The authors make timely and relevant connections between theatre and the familiar world of television and film to help students understand how the living art of theatre relates to and influences today's screen entertainment. For flexibility in the way you teach, this title is available in two versions. THE ART OF THEATRE: THEN AND NOW contains 17 chapters, 7 of which cover theatre history in both Western and non-Western contexts. THE ART OF THEATRE: A CONCISE INTRODUCTION features 12 chapters and a briefer treatment of theatre history.

Features and Benefits

  • Organized into three distinct sections--Theatre Literacy, The Arts within the Art, and Styles, Genres, and Isms--the text provides flexibility to organize the course in various ways. For even more flexibility, this unique approach to the introductory course is available in two versions. THE ART OF THEATRE: THEN AND NOW contains 17 chapters, 7 of which cover theatre history in Western and non-Western contexts. THE ART OF THEATRE: A CONCISE INTRODUCTION contains 12 chapters, paring back historical coverage to one chapter on theatre's key movements (realism, absurdism, etc.) and another on musical theatre.
  • Diversity in theatre: The theme of diversity is woven into text narrative, examples, quotations, and photos. Chapter 3 (Theatre and Cultural Diversity) discusses diversity in modern U.S. theatre. Chapter 11 (Non-Western Theatre) discusses African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic theatre. Spotlight on Diversity boxes describe ethnic and cultural diversity in the theatre, exposing students to some of the many voices in theatre. Boxes include "The Life and Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa" (Chapter 1--Theatre, Art, and Entertainment), "Color-Blind Casting" (Chapter 8--The Art of Directing), and "The Life of a Playwright: Rebecca Gilman" (Chapter 6--The Playwright and the Script).
  • Entire chapter on creativity: Chapter 10, Creativity, compares technique and talent, describes the attributes of creative people, provides tips students can use to enhance their creativity, and outlines the steps of creative problem-solving.
  • From Stage to Screen: Side-by-side comparisons of stage plays and their film versions show students how the same story is told in two mediums. The text compares eight plays and their film counterparts: MACBETH, ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE CRUCIBLE, ROPE, COSI, HAMLET, and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
  • Spotlight boxes: These boxes look behind the scenes at the people, places, trends, and events that have shaped theatre. Examples of Spotlight boxes are "The Life of an Actor: Don Cheadle" (in Chapter 7--The Art of Acting), "The Life of a Director: Tisa Chang" (in Chapter 8--The Art of Directing), and "Understanding Shakespeare" (Chapter 12--The Many Types of Theatre).
  • Integrated InfoTrac® College Edition readings: These readings from periodicals encourage students to experience theatre online and explore the concepts presented in the text.
  • Interesting and relevant timelines: Throughout the history chapters, timelines relate theatrical events to cultural and social events to illustrate theatre's place in world history.

Table of Contents

Part 1: THEATRE LITERACY.
1. Theatre, Art, and Entertainment.
2. Comparing the Living Stage, Silver Screen, and Home Theatre.
3. Theatre and Cultural Diversity.
4. Experiencing and Analyzing Plays.
Part 2: THE ARTS WITHIN THE ART.
5. A Day in the Life of a Theatre.
6. The Playwright and the Script.
7. The Art of Acting.
8. The Art of Directing.
9. The Art of Design.
10. Creativity.
Part 3: STYLES, GENRES, AND ISMS.
11. The Many Types of Theatre.
12. The Musical.
Glossary.
Index.

What's New

  • Chapter 5, A Day in the Life of a Theatre: In this brand-new chapter, the authors highlight the collaboration and talents it takes to put on a play and then look hour-by-hour at a day in the life of a typical theatre by detailing the technical, creative, and administrative sides of the ensemble. Chapters 6 through 9 follow with in-depth coverage of members of the creative team, including playwrights, actors, directors, and designers.
  • More on play analysis: Chapter 4 has been expanded with improved guidelines for play analysis, including a new sidebar--Why Read Plays?--written by Edward Albee.
  • The Many Types of Theatre (Chapter 12): A new, concise chapter covers straight plays--including comedy, tragedy, realism, expressionism, melodrama, romanticism, absurdism--as well as non-Western theatrical traditions of Africa, India, China, Japan, and the Islamic world.
  • Sundance Choice Drama: Create a customizable, printed anthology of plays for your course by choosing from a large selection of plays--including many discussed in the "Stage to Screen" boxes of this text--at http://www.textchoice.com/sundance. With your customized anthology, students pay only for the plays you assign!
  • Wadsworth Guide to Live Theatre: Assigning a Live Theatre attendance requirement is easier than ever! This searchable database provides students with accurate dates, times, and locations of all university theatre productions in the United States, and worksheets to complete during and after viewing live performances.

Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

"I think THE ART OF THEATRE is superior because it relates theatre to what the students already know: TV, film, and what's available to them via the web and internet. Breaking the information up into smaller segments (via text boxes and features) also helps to provide changing stimulation, which they seem to need."

— Sheilah A. Philip, Johnson County Community College

"The entire history section is VERY important. I also enjoy the chapter on Creativity and the Ensemble. Again, we have a class of diverse experience. I find them useful."

— Jason Pasqua, Laramie County Community College

"The students relate very well to the book and find it very exciting. The students really like the student website, and I see an improvement in test scores when students use the website in addition to reading the text."

— Christopher Boltz, Fresno City College

Supplements

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 Advantage Books: A Pocketful of Plays: Vintage Drama, Volume I, Revised Edition  (ISBN-10: 1413015573 | ISBN-13: 9781413015577)

A POCKETFUL OF PLAYS: VINTAGE DRAMA contains six plays: TRIFLES, by Susan Glaspell; OEDIPUS THE KING, by Sophocles; HAMLET, by William Shakespeare; A DOLL'S HOUSE, by Henrik Ibsen; THE GLASS MENAGERIE, by Tennessee Williams; and A RAISIN IN THE SUN, by Lorraine Hansberry. The plays include source materials to encourage further discussion and analysis. Among these enhancements are author's comments, biographical and critical commentaries, and reviews of actual productions.

List Price = $16.95  | CengageBrain Price = $16.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $13.00

Cengage Advantage Books: Pocketful of Plays: Vintage Drama, Volume II  (ISBN-10: 1413011330 | ISBN-13: 9781413011333)

A POCKETFUL OF PLAYS: VINTAGE DRAMA contains nine plays: Sophocles' ANTIGONE, William Shakespeare's OTHELLO, August Strindberg's MISS JULIE (one act), Anton Chekhov's THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Edward Albee's THE SANDBOX (one act), Sam Shepard's TRUE WEST, Wendy Wasserstein's TENDER OFFER (one act), Milcha Sanchez Scott's THE CUBAN SWIMMER, and Jane Martin's BEAUTY (one act). The plays include source materials to encourage further discussion and analysis. Among these enhancements are author's comments, biographical and critical commentaries, and reviews of actual productions. A new addition to David Madden's POCKETFUL series (including titles in fiction, poetry, drama, and the essay), this chronologically arranged anthology contains several classic longer plays as well as four one-act plays, included to create a mini one-act anthology, spanning a range of time. Because one-act plays are shorter, they are easier and faster to teach-a real benefit of this anthology. Rather than annotations, the author has included a question set specific to one-act plays for use as guidance throughout reading. The plays are accompanied by critical source material to help students understand the playwright and/or play. This source material includes the playwright's notes and/or a review of a specific production of the play.

List Price = $16.95  | CengageBrain Price = $16.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $13.00

Guide to Live Theatre: The Art of Theatre Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495793280 | ISBN-13: 9780495793281)

Assigning a Live Theatre attendance requirement is easier than ever! This searchable database provides students with accurate dates, times, and locations of all university theatre productions in the United States, and worksheets to complete after viewing live performances.

List Price = $29.00  | CengageBrain Price = $29.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $29.00

Student Supplements

Cengage Advantage Books: A Pocketful of Plays: Vintage Drama, Volume I, Revised Edition  (ISBN-10: 1413015573 | ISBN-13: 9781413015577)

A POCKETFUL OF PLAYS: VINTAGE DRAMA contains six plays: TRIFLES, by Susan Glaspell; OEDIPUS THE KING, by Sophocles; HAMLET, by William Shakespeare; A DOLL'S HOUSE, by Henrik Ibsen; THE GLASS MENAGERIE, by Tennessee Williams; and A RAISIN IN THE SUN, by Lorraine Hansberry. The plays include source materials to encourage further discussion and analysis. Among these enhancements are author's comments, biographical and critical commentaries, and reviews of actual productions.

List Price = $16.95  | CengageBrain Price = $16.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $13.00

Cengage Advantage Books: Pocketful of Plays: Vintage Drama, Volume II  (ISBN-10: 1413011330 | ISBN-13: 9781413011333)

VINTAGE DRAMA contains nine plays: Sophocles' ANTIGONE, William Shakespeare's OTHELLO, August Strindberg's MISS JULIE (one act), Anton Chekhov's THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Edward Albee's THE SANDBOX (one act), Sam Shepard's TRUE WEST, Wendy Wasserstein's TENDER OFFER (one act), Milcha Sanchez Scott's THE CUBAN SWIMMER, and Jane Martin's BEAUTY (one act). The plays include source materials to encourage further discussion and analysis. Among these enhancements are author's comments, biographical and critical commentaries, and reviews of actual productions.

List Price = $16.95  | CengageBrain Price = $16.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $13.00

Guide to Live Theatre: The Art of Theatre Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495793280 | ISBN-13: 9780495793281)

Were you asked to attend a live theatre performance this term? Excited to start watching plays in your area? Now finding a show to attend is easier than ever! This searchable database provides you with accurate dates, times, and locations of all university theatre productions in the United States, and worksheets to complete after viewing live performances.

List Price = $29.00  | CengageBrain Price = $29.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $29.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

William Missouri Downs

William Missouri Downs is a playwright and director. His plays have been produced by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, The InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, The San Diego Rep, The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Salt Lake City Acting Company, the Actors Theatre of Charlotte, the International Theatre Festival in Israel, the Stadt Theater Walfischgasse in Austria, the Jewish Theatre of Toronto, The Bloomington Playwright's Project, the Detroit Rep, the New York City Fringe Festival, the Durban Performing Arts Center in South Africa, and 150 theatres worldwide. His numerous playwriting awards include two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network ("Women Playing Hamlet" and "The Exit Interview"), and twice he was a finalist at the Eugene O'Neill ("Mad Gravity" and "How to Steal a Picasso"). Samuel French, Playscripts, Next Stage Press, and Heuer have published his plays. In addition, Bill has authored several articles and three other books, including SCREENPLAY: WRITING THE PICTURE and NAKED PLAYWRITING, both published by Silman/James. In Hollywood he was a staff writer on the NBC sitcom "My Two Dads" (starring Paul Reiser). He also wrote episodes of "Amen" (starring Sherman Hemsley) and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (starring Will Smith) as well as sold/optioned screenplays to Imagine Pictures and Filmways. Trained under the Oscar Nominated Polish Director Jerzy Antczak, Bill has directed over 40 college and professional productions. He holds an MFA in acting from the University of Illinois and an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. Lanford Wilson and Milan Stitt at the Circle Rep in New York City trained him in playwriting.

Lou Anne Wright

Lou Anne Wright is an actor, dialect coach, professor, and writer; she holds an MFA in Voice, Speech, and Dialects from the National Theatre Conservatory and is a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher. Lou Anne has served as voice/dialect coach for such companies as the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and her film roles include Judy Shepard in HBO's "The Laramie Project" and Nell in "Hearsay". As a playwright, she authored "Kabuki Medea", which won the Bay Area Critics Award for Best Production in San Francisco. It was also produced at the Kennedy Center. She is the coauthor of the book PLAYWRITING: FROM FORMULA TO FORM, and her screenwriting credits include the film adaptation of Eudora Welty's "The Hitch-Hikers", which featured Patty Duke and Richard Hatch (for which she was nominated for the Directors Guild of America's Lillian Gish Award). Lou Anne teaches acting, voice, speech, and dialects at the University of Wyoming, where she has won several teaching awards.

Erik Ramsey

Erik Ramsey is an Associate Professor of Playwriting in the MFA Playwriting Program at Ohio University. His plays have been developed at various theaters including Cleveland Public Theatre, American Stage, Victory Gardens, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, and been published by Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing. As a new play dramaturg, he has worked in diverse settings from Steppenwolf Theater to WordBridge Lab. Over the past decade he has been a guest artist and taught playwriting, new play development, and narrative theory in a variety of national and international venues, including the St. Petersburg Academy of Dramatic Arts “New American Plays” Conference and Lubimovka Playwrights Laboratory at Teatr.doc in Moscow. Erik’s newest play, a two-hander for actresses in their 40s, explores the intersection of rodeo clowning and time-travel.