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THEATRE IN YOUR LIFE makes theatre appreciation personal, meaningful, and memorable for students by exploring the many ways theatre plays an important role in everyday life. From movies, concerts, and videogames to weddings, graduations, and job interviews, aspects of production and performance strongly influence popular culture and shape many of our daily experiences. THEATRE IN YOUR LIFE vividly illuminates these connections while providing a thorough introduction to the history, elements, and global diversity of theatre. Written in an enjoyable, conversational style, this text enhances students' understanding and appreciation of theatre by inviting them to recognize and reflect on its impact on their lives.

Robert Barton, University of Oregon

Robert Barton is Professor Emeritus of Acting at the University of Oregon. He has directed more than half of Shakespeare's plays and performed in most of them, including playing the title role in a PBS production of HAMLET. A prolific author, Dr. Barton has published numerous scholarly articles on acting and seven books, including VOICE: ONSTAGE AND OFF (with Rocco Dal Vera), THEATRE IN YOUR LIFE and LIFE THEMES (both with Annie McGregor), and ACTING REFRAMES. His STYLE FOR ACTORS received the Theatre Association's Best Book Award. In addition, he served as editor and adaptor of the newly revised edition of the classic text THE CRAFT OF COMEDY. The American College Theatre Festival honored Dr. Barton as Outstanding Acting Coach. He received his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University.

Annie McGregor, Pennsylvania State University

Annie McGregor teaches script analysis and history/literature/criticism at The Pennsylvania State University School of Theatre, where she is currently Head of the BA Theatre program. She has received the Atherton Award for Teaching Excellence and the College of Arts and Architecture Award for Teaching Excellence. She is a sometime actor, with her most recent and most favorite role being Jean in "After Mrs. Rochester," at the University of Oregon in its West Coast premiere. She is a regular dramaturg; her most recent projects include "Mother Courage and Her Children" and "Pentecost." She is increasingly intrigued by the world of online teaching, after the successful launch and continued success of her Art of the Theatre web course. She also continues to direct projects, with her latest offerings being "The Odyssey" and "Arabian Nights," both by her favorite playwright Mary Zimmerman.
  • This edition's boxed features cover such new topics as DreamWorks in China and The Handspring Puppet Company. New Media in Theatre boxes discuss recent media performance elements including 3D, theatre apps, and theatre blogs.
  • An expanded discussion of Shakespeare discusses his impact on the development of drama, theatre, our language, and the way we define our humanity. There's also updated and expanded material on Stanislavski.
  • Additional material on theatre positions and practice includes coverage of puppets and puppetry, the sound designer, the prop master, and the projection designer.
  • Chapter 11, "Contemporary Voices," includes new information about the popular Cirque de Soleil, which presents an engaging blend of circus arts and street entertainment.
  • A new companion anthology, LIFE THEMES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF PLAYS FOR THE THEATRE, contains the scripts to the 12 plays featured in the book's Dramatic Interludes (which compare pairs of classic and contemporary plays). Each play has an extensive introduction focusing on the life and work of the playwright, the play's production history, and the major cultural influences on the creation and impact of the script, as well at its continued contemporary relevance.
  • Theatre in Your Life boxes, included in most chapters, highlight ways that both staged events and spontaneous theatre can play important roles in everyday life. These features encourage students to discover aspects of theatre in their daily experiences and to hone their understanding of related elements of production.
  • Theatre in Media boxes use familiar examples from popular entertainment to deepen students' understanding by comparing and contrasting aspects of live theatre with film and other media. Examples include the contrasting challenges faced by screenwriters and playwrights and the changes a musical undergoes to be adapted as a film.
  • The text fully integrates coverage of history and global diversity, explaining the origins and evolution of modern theatre and tracing the relationships among different cultures and genres during each historical period. Nearly every chapter features opportunities to compare theatre traditions throughout the country and around the globe.
  • Ample coverage is given to everyone involved in a theatrical production, from star performers to those remaining behind the scenes. Theatre in Your Life boxes invite students to consider the variety of ways to get involved with the theatre and to explore their interest in each one.
  • Learning objectives at the start of each chapter provide students with a roadmap that describes what they should know and be able to do after reading the material.
  • Each chapter stands alone and can be assigned in any order. Instructors can also exclude any chapter without losing the sense of the text.
  • Dramatic Interludes provide additional depth and focus by comparing pairs of classic and contemporary plays that explore a common theme (love, war, generations, rebellion, dreams, values). The interludes illustrate the connections between theatre and life, as well as practical applications of concepts covered in the preceding chapters.
  • Each of the Dramatic Interludes is supplemented with a viable scene from the plays discussed, with care taken to choose scenes appropriate for classroom exercises. These include scenes such as one from "King Lear" featuring Edmund and Edgar, two young men within the age range of many students in your course.
  • A conversational, accessible voice, complemented by examples and humor, speaks directly to readers in a friendly and non-pretentious fashion.
1. Anticipation.
2. Origins.
Dramatic Interlude: Love. Expansions.
3. Storytellers and Stories.
4. Actors and Directors.
Dramatic Interlude: War. Expansions.
5. Designers.
6. The Production Team.
Dramatic Interlude: Generations. Expansions.
7. Early Stages.
8. Middle Stages.
Dramatic Interlude: Rebellion. Expansions.
9. Varieties of Realism.
10. Varieties of Stylization.
Dramatic Interlude: Dreams. Expansions.
11. Contemporary Voices.
12. Criticism and Connections.
Dramatic Interlude: Values. Expansions.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1305327381
  • ISBN-13: 9781305327382
  • STARTING AT $25.49

  • STARTING AT $28.49

  • ISBN-10: 128546348X
  • ISBN-13: 9781285463483
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $134.25
  • RETAIL $178.95

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.


Online Instructor's Manual

ISBN: 9781285463506
Written by Barton and McGregor, this indispensable manual offers learning objectives, chapter outlines, key terms, topics for discussion, suggested activities, Internet resources (web links), teaching tips, and sample test questions (in multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and essay formats).

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285463551
Cengage Learning's Communication CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Included are Interactive Video Activities, the MindTap® Reader, Speech Builder Express 3.0, Theatre Workshop, audio presentations of the book's Dramatic Interludes, and Engagement Tracker, a first-of-its-kind tool that monitors student engagement in the course. Watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website.


CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285463551
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.