The Drama Handbook: A Guide To Reading Plays

Paperback | February 1, 2002

byJohn Lennard, Mary Luckhurst

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This book is a compact guide to reading plays, and to the art and techniques of drama. Ranging from classical Greece to modern Drama and performance, but with particular emphasis on the playwrights (including Shakespeare) who are most widely taught and performed, the Handbook covers the wholerange of literary, aesthetic, and political questions attending drama, from theatre designs and acting styles to audience composition and editing printed texts. Looking closely at both text and performance, successive sections give clear and detailed information about the conventions of playtexts,the histories of genre, performance spaces, and theatre personnel, as well as current theatre practices. Each chapter also provides an appropriate technical and critical vocabulary, conveniently gathered in a full, indexed glossary. A final section, dealing with drama essays and exams, includessample student essays, and the bibliography includes targeted further reading as well as extensive guides to playwrights in print and plays on film. Lucid, practical, and thorough, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone who reads plays.

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This book is a compact guide to reading plays, and to the art and techniques of drama. Ranging from classical Greece to modern Drama and performance, but with particular emphasis on the playwrights (including Shakespeare) who are most widely taught and performed, the Handbook covers the wholerange of literary, aesthetic, and political...

John Lennard teaches at the Universities of Cambridge and Notre Dame, and for the British American Drama Academy in London. He is the author of 'But I Digress' (1991), the best-selling 'The Poetry Handbook' (1996), and an on-line guide, 'Reading Contemporary Poetry' (2001). Mary Luckhurst is Lecturer in Modern Drama at the University ...

other books by John Lennard

The Poetry Handbook
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Format:PaperbackPublished:February 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198700709

ISBN - 13:9780198700708

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. Performance, notation, text1. Performance: process and the ephemeral2. Notation: documentation, layout, and the preserved3. Text I: editing and reception4. Text II: the process of readingII. Reading Structures5. What is genre?6. Classical genres: tragedy, comedy, satyr-playes, epic7. Religious genres: the liturgy, Mysteries, Moralities8. Renaissance genres: Commedia dell'arte, tragicomedy, masque, opera9. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century genres: burlesque, sentimental and gothic drama, pantomime, melodrama, music-hall, farce, well-made plays10. Social genres: political theatre, agit-prop, documentary and epic drama11. The impact of technology: light, sound, radio- and television-plays, film-genresIII. Defining architectures12. The study13. Rehearsal and administrative space14. The stage and auditorium15. The scriptorium, printshop, publishing house, bookshop, and libraryIV. Personnel in process16. Playwrights17. Directors18. Actors19. Dramaturgs and literary managers20. Designers21. Production staff, stage-crew, and front-of-house22. Censors23. Audiences24. Critics25. Editors26. Teachers and readersV. Theatre today27. The playtext since the 1950s28. Challenges to the playtext29. Alternatives to the playtextVI. Exam conditions30. Practical criticism31. Period and special papers32. Sample answersGlossaryIndex of personsIndex of playsBibliography and further reading

Editorial Reviews

`....students will doubtless benefit from the immense amount of information provided and ambitious scope of the book.'Theatre Research International, Vol 27.