The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched

Paperback | March 19, 2010

byPaul Woodruff

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Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as "daring and inspiring," Paul Woodruff's brilliant The Necessity of Theater makes the case for theater as a unique form of expression connected to our most human instincts. What is unique and essential about theater? What separates it from other arts? The art of theater, Woodruff argues, is as necessary - and as powerful - as language itself. Defining theater broadly, including sporting events and social rituals, he treats traditional theater as only one possibility in an art that - at its most powerful - can change lives and (as some peoplesbelieve) bring a divine presence to earth. Woodruff sheds light on the unique power of theater by separating it into the twin arts of watching and being watched, practiced together in harmony by watchers and the watched. Whereas performers practice the art of being watched, audiences practice theart of watching: paying close attention. A good audience is emotionally engaged as spectators; their engagement takes a form of empathy that can lead to a special kind of human wisdom.

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Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as "daring and inspiring," Paul Woodruff's brilliant The Necessity of Theater makes the case for theater as a unique form of expression connected to our most human instincts. What is unique and essential about theater? What separates it from other arts? The art of theater, Woodruff argues, is as...

Paul Woodruff is Professor of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Texas at Austin.

other books by Paul Woodruff

The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched
The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.2 × 5.4 × 0.4 inPublished:March 19, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195394801

ISBN - 13:9780195394801

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Table of Contents

The Necessity of TheaterPart One: The Art of Being Watched1. Defining the Art2. What Theater Makes3. Action Worth Watching: Plot4. Staging Choices5. People Worth Watching: Characters6. Sacred Space7. MimesisPart Two: The Art of Watching8. Emotion9. Empathy10. Laughter11. Understanding Theater12. The Mask of Wisdom