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Life Themes: An Anthology of Plays for the Theatre 2nd Edition

Robert Barton, Annie McGregor

  • Published
  • 400 Pages


LIFE THEMES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF PLAYS FOR THE THEATRE provides complete scripts for the 12 plays discussed in the text’s Dramatic Interlude sections. The anthology mirrors the Interludes with six themes: love, war, generations, rebellion, dreams, and values. Each theme is represented by both a classical and a contemporary play. While the first play is usually by a white male from a previous century, the second modern script includes a population less represented in traditional drama anthologies: women, Asian-American, Latino, and African-American writers. Helping students get the most from each work, the editors provide historical context, a biography about the playwright, an examination of contemporary relevance of the script, a discussion of other works by this playwright, and suggestions for further study for every play.

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.
  • A new play by Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo is included. The poignant "9 Parts of Desire" examines the effects of war on real people—particularly the innocent.
  • Extremely insightful, theme introductions have been revised to include updated context sections as well as new sections with additional works by the playwrights and suggestions for further reading.
  • Designed to be particularly accessible to students who have not previously read a large number of plays, five of the plays—KING LEAR, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, ARMS AND THE MAN, THE THREE SISTERS, and ANTIGONE—have been presented in acting editions/adaptations prepared by the authors for actual performance.
  • Each theme includes an insightful introduction that increases student understanding and prompts engaging class discussions.
Life Themes: Introduction.
"Much Ado About Nothing", William Shakespeare.
"M. Butterfly", David Henry Hwang.
"Arms and the Man", George Bernard Shaw.
"9 Parts of Desire", Heather Raffo.
"King Lear", William Shakespeare.
"Roosters", Milcha Sanchez-Scott.
"Antigone", Sophocles.
"'Master Harold'…and the boys", Athol Fugard.
"The Three Sisters", Anton Chekhov.
"Bitter Cane", Genny Lim.
"He and She", Rachel Crothers.
"The Piano Lesson", August Wilson.

"The introductions for each theme are interesting and intelligently rendered… very readable for an undergraduate student. I do believe they enhance the learning experience and are written in such a way to enlarge class discussion.

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.