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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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Part I: THEATRE'S SEEING PLACES.
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.
Part II: PLAYWRIGHTS, PERSPECTIVES, AND FORMS.
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.
Part III: THEATRE'S PRACTITIONERS.
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.
Part IV: AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE.
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.
Part V. THEATRE'S CRITICS.
Criticism. Seeing Theatre. The Professional Critic.
"Some of the greatest strengths of the text are its reading level, colorful and numerous pictures, sidebars, and the organization of content."
"The content is absolutely 'pitch perfect' for the capabilities of the student."
Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.
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