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Think Theatre



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This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 12/27/2011.

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Debuting in its first edition, THINK Theatreengages contemporary readers through its stylish visual program, lively narrative, and side-by-side coverage of multicultural and alternative theatres with more familiar and well known performances. THINK Theatre shows readers how the intersection of artistic vision, talent, and passion intersect with social, political and economic reality to create theatre everywhere, in all its forms and variety.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Theatre: A Global Experience


CO Essay: Navigating the World of the Theatre

Theatre as a Reflection of Culture

Universals of the Theatre

Tradition and Innovation

Why Theatre Today?


Chapter 2: The Audience Response


CO Essay: Partners in Performance

The Audience and the Actor: The Invisible Bond

The Audience Is a Community

Audience Members Construct Meaning as Individuals

Conventions of Audience Response

Political Theatre: Moving the Audience to Action

Meeting Theatre’s Challenges

The Critical Response

The Many Faces of the Critic



Chapter 3: Understanding Plays


CO Essay: Storytelling and Cultural Tradition

The Western Play Tradition

Story and Plot

Dramatic Structure

Dramatic Characters

Dramatic Language

Form and Innovation


Chapter 4: The European Written Tradition and Its Genres


CO Essay: Genre and Cultural Context

Genre and Theatrical Convention


Other European Genres




Genre Today


Chapter 5: Performance Traditions: Legacy and Renewal


CO Essay: Performance Traditions: Living Cultural Heritage

Indian Sanskirt Theatre

Mime and the Commedia dell’Arte Tradition

Japanese Traditions



Chinese Opera

Carnival Tradition

Puppet Traditions around the Globe


Chapter 6: Alternative Paths to Performance


CO Essay: Other Authors, Other Texts, Other Forms

Creating through Improvisation

The Performance Ensemble and Collaborative Creation

Mime and Movement Theatre

Variety Entertainment


Documentary Theatre

Opera and Operetta

The American Musical

The Theatre of Images



Chapter 7: The Actor: Theatre’s Living Presence


Co Essay: The Thrill of Simulation

To Act Is Human

The Universal Qualities of Acting in the Theatre

What Does an Actor Do?

The Actor’s Dual Consciousness

Acting Reflects Culture

The Development of Actor Training

The Acting Profession Today

Acting in Performance Traditions


Chapter 8: The Director: The Invisible Presence


CO Essay: Where is the Director?

Directors Mold the Theatrical Experience

Directing, a Recent Art

The Director as Interpreter of a Dramatic Text

High-Concept Directing

The Director as Acting Guru

The Director as Auteur

The Director’s Personal Qualities



Chapter 9: Theatre Spaces and Environments: The Silent Character


CO Essay: Title to Come in Copyedit

Space and Theatrical Conventions Evolve Together

The Boundaries of Theatre Spaces

Cultural Meanings of Theatre Spaces

Traditional Theatre Spaces and Environments

Created and Found Spaces


Chapter 10: Approaches to Design


CO Essay: Title to Come in Copyedit

Costume, Makeup, and Masks in Performance Traditions

Sets, Lighting, and Sound Design in Performance Traditions

Western Stage Design Before the Interpretive Model

Contemporary Western Stage Design



Chapter 11: Setting the Stage


CO Essay: Designing the Characters' World

Goals of Set Design

The Set Designer’s Process: Collaboration, Discussion, Evolution

Principles of Composition

The Visual Elements of Set Design

The Set Designer’s Materials


Chapter 12: Dressing the Character


CO Essay: The Magic of Costumes

The Goals of Costume Design

The Costume Designer’s Process

Principles of Composition

Visual Elements of Costume Design

The Costume Designer’s Materials

Fabric, Ornaments, and Accessories

Hairstyles and Wigs

Makeup and Masks



Chapter 13: Lighting and Sound Design


CO Essay: Technology and Art in Partnership

Stage Lighting

The Lighting Designer’s Process

The Visual Elements of Lighting Design

Sound Design

The Sound Designer’s Process


Chapter 14: Making Theatre Happen


CO Essay: The Necessity of Theatre

Where Theatre Happens

Commercial and Not-for-Profit Theatre in the United States

Producing Theatre

Behind the Scenes: The Unsung Heroes of the Theatre

Methods of Collaboration

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