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The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre,9780072558319

The Creative Spirit: An Introduction to Theatre

by
ISBN13:

9780072558319

ISBN10:
0072558318
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/31/2003
Publisher(s):
McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
List Price: $103.61

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Summary

The Creative Spirit includes five complete plays: Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson, And the Soul Shall Dance by Wakako Yamauchi, Angels in America by Tony Kushner, Dog Lady by Milcha Sanchez-Scott, Buried Child by Sam Shepard. Focusing on the collaborative and creative processes that go into productions, Stephanie Arnold introduces students to the theatre through engaging and accessible plays and through the playwrights who craft the play texts and the theatre practitioners who bring those texts to life on the stage. A rich context is provided for each play with a discussion of the playwright's biography and sources, timelines that provide historical and cultural background, and a case study of an actual production of the play to give students a sense of experiencing theatre from the inside. Includes new interviews with theatre professionals about their work. Offers a vibrant visual presentation with full-color photographs throughout including over fifty new photographs of many exciting new plays and revivals such as Anna in the Tropics, Cathay, Gem of the Ocean, Electricidad, 9 Parts of Desire, The Pillowman, All's Well that Ends Well, Awake and Sing, Hedda Gabler, Medea, Much Ado About Nothing, The Soldier's Tale, and The Teahouse. Features more coverage of writing about the theatre including information on the contributions of the dramaturg and the critic and a new appendix of guided writing assignments such as reviewing productions and conducting interviews. Emphasizes the diverse and vibrant roots of the theatre with expanded materials on Latino theatre as well as Chinese and Chinese-American theatre in addition to the rich presentation of diversity already in the book. Book jacket.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: THE NATURE OF THEATRE

Chapter 1 The Impulse to Perform

Personal Performance

Community Performance

Ritual Performance Among the Hopi

Performance as Community Obligation

Professional Performance: Four Stories

Bill Irwin: Physical Humor

Anna Deavere Smith: The Power of Words

Neil Marcus: Storyteller and Dancer

Frances McDormand: Creation of Character

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 2 Theatre and Society

The Power of Theatre

Theatre and Religious Festivals

The Greek Theatre: Athens, Fifth Century B.C.E

The Medieval Mystery Cycle

The Professional Theatre

The Elizabethan Theatre

The Beijing Opera of Chinca

Theatre as a Mirror of Society

Theatre and Social Change

Theatre and September 11

Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

PART TWO THE NATURE OF PERFORMANCE

THE THEATRE PRACTITIONERS

Chapter 3 The Playwright’s Vision

Looking at Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson

Exploring the Text of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Plot and Characters: A Meeting of Two Worlds

Historical and Cultural Contexts of the Play

The Playwright’s Sources

The Complete Text of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Producing Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

The Construction of Meaning Through Collaboration

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Actors at Work

Staging the Juba

Expanding the Stage Image: The Work of the Designers

Conclusion: History and Meaning in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Summary

Topics for Writing and Discussion

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 4 The Art of the Actor

The Presence of the Actor

The Actor’s Craft

The Work of the Actor

Competing for Roles: The Audition

Preparing for the Role

The Rehearsal Process

Approaches to Acting

The Internal Approach

The External Approach

Acting Cordelia in King Lear

Gestural Acting

The Performance

Theatre and Film

Becoming an Actor

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 5 The Director

The History of the Director

The Director and the Development of Realism

The Director and the Determination of Style

The Visionary Director: Jerzy Grotowski

Approaches to Directing

The Director at Work

Choosing the Play

The Director’s Initial Response to the Play

Creating Metaphor’s

Working with the Actors

Casting

Nontraditional Casting

The Work Environment

Improvisation

Staging the Play

Focus

Spatial Composition and Character Development

Rhythm and Pacing

Preparing the Play for Performance

The Director’s Training

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 6 The Designers

Stagecraft and the Theatre

The Theatrical Space

The Proscenium Theatre

Thrust, Arena, and Black Box Stages

The Implications of Theatre Architecture for Designers

Three-Dimensional Space

Meetings and Interactions

The History of Scene Design

Scene Design Today

Costume Design

Stylistic Unity

The Psychology of Character

The Costume Designer and the Actor

Lighting Design

The History of Light in the Theatre

The Lighting Designer’s Materials

Conceptualizing with Light

The Light Plot and the Light Cues

Visibility

Focus

Mood and Atmosphere

The Rhythm of Light

The Growing Prominence of Sound Design

The Integration of Sound into the Production Process

The Sound Designer’s Materials

Environmental Sound and Sound Reinforcement

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 7 The Musical Theatre: Composers, Lyricists and Choreographers

Origins of Musical Theatre in America

The Broadway Theatre

Oklahoma!

West Side Story

My Fair Lady

Cabaret

The Musicals of Stephen Sondheim

A Chorus Line

New Directions for the Musical Theatre

Savion Glover and Bring in da Noise Bring in da Funk

Jonathan Larson and Rent

Julie Taymor and The Lion King

Susan Stroman and Contact

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

PART THREE: THE NATURE OF STYLE

REALISM AND THEATRICALISM

Chapter 8 Understanding Style: Realism

Introduction to Realism

Realistic Elements in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Realism in Film

Origins of Realism

The Social Background of Realism

European Realism

Henrik Ibsen

August Strindberg

Anton Chekhov

American Realism

Lillian Hellman

Poetic Realism: Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams

Constantin Stanislavsky and Realstic Acting

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 9 Expressing a World View Through Realism

Looking at And the Soul Shall Dance by Wakako Yamauchi

Eploring the Text of And the Soul Shall Dance

Plot and Characters

Personal, Cultural, and Historical Contexts of the Play

Evoking a World Through Detail

The Complete Text of And the Soul Shall Dance

Producing And the Soul Shall Dance

Introduction to East West Players

Location and Physical Space

Staging the Play

The Director’s Prologue

The Influence of Asian Theatre

Staging a Period Play: The Work of the Director and the Actors

Building Character Relationships

Contrasting Productions: East West Players and Northwest Asian American Theatre

Scene Design and the Physical Space

Interpreting Family Relationships

Sexuality and Gender

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 10 Understanding Style: Theatricalism

Exposing the Mechanics of the Theatre

Expressionism

German Expressionism

American Expressionism

Epic Theatre: Bertolt Brecht

Brecht’s Concept of Alienation

Brecht’s Approach to Acting

Theatre of the Absurd

A Revolution in Movement: Martha Graham

Total Theatre: Robert Wilson

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 11 Expressing a Worldview Through Theatricalism

Looking at Angels in America: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner

Exploring the Text of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches

Plot and Characters

A World in Spiritual Collapse

Influences on Kushner as Playwright: Bertolt Brecht and Caryl Churchill

The Historical Framework of Angels in America

The Complete Text of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches

Producing Angels in America

The Eureka Theatre and the Playwright

The Role of the Dramaturg

The Developmental Process

Expanding Opportunities for the Development of New Plays

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

PART FOUR: THE NATURE OF DRAMA

STRUCTURE AND GENRE

Chapter 12 The Elements of Drama and Dramatic Structure

Fundamental Elements of Structure

Character

Plot

Language

Music

Spectacle

The Organization of the Drama in Space and Time

The Duration of the Performance

Building the Drama: the Internal Rhythm

Conflict, Rising Tension, and Resolution

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 13 Genre

Introduction to Genre

Tragedy and Comedy

Origins in Greek Drama

Aristotle on Tragedy and Comedy

A Look at Tartuffe

Tragedy: Catharsis and Awareness

Plot Summaries of Selected Tragedies

Common Themes of Tragedy

Can Tragedy Exist Today?

Melodrama

Tragicomedy

Farce

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 14 Choosing a Genre: Comedy

Looking at Dog Lady by Milcha Sanchez-Scott

Exploring the Text of Dog Lady

Plot and Characters

The Playwright’s Sources: An Intersection of Cultures

Characteristics of the Play

Blended Language

Magical Realism

Reinterpreting Catholic Imagery: The Virgin of Guadalupe

A Latina Identity

The Complete Text of Dog Lady

Producing Dog Lady

INTAR

Set Design and Ming Cho Lee

Pop Art and Forced Perspective

Breaking the Illusion

Staging and Acting

Sight Gags

Vocal Style

Using Comedy to Shift the World View

Summary

Topics for Discussion and Writing

Suggestions for Further Reading

Chapter 15 The Project

Looking at Buried Child by Sam Shepard

Preparing a Production

Buried Child and Alternative Play Choices

Introduction to Sam Shepard

Alternative Play Choices

Working on the Project

Sequence of Work

Topics for Group Discussion (Group Meeting #1)

Group Decisions (Group Meeting #2)

Project Assignments

The Director

Character Analysis

Scene Design

Costume Design

Music

Program Note

Poster

Conclusion

The Complete Text of Buried Child

Two Reviews of Buried Child

Glossary

Credits

Index



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