Willamsburg, Va. (PRWEB) January 11, 2013
The performing arts have a long and distinctive history, throughout the ages actors and thespians have entertained kings and commoners alike with their compelling dramas and comedies. From the Shakespearean plays of the Elizabethan times to modern Broadway musicals, the evocative performances on the stage continue to move audiences to tears and laughter. Now, with “Introduction to Theater: A Direct Approach,” author Laurie J. Wolf guides casual readers and aspiring thespians alike to the timeless world of entertainment and artistic excellence that is theater.
In her work, Wolf addresses a student who is taking a single course in the theatrical arts, rather than a seasoned theatre major. Her text addresses the most salient points pertinent to a beginning theatre course, and starts with the essential fundamentals of stagecraft. First, Wolf defines the theatre, what it is, its reasons for existence, and what it means to both the performers and the audience. Afterwards, she expounds on the basics of acting and the interplay between the actors and the spaces of the theatre, the environment where the performance is staged, and enumerates the methods of staging a play. She also details the aspects of stage production, and the process involved in the selection of the script. Wolf then introduces her readers to the people behind the performance, the director and the design team, and how their roles are essential to a successful performance.
The rich history of theatre is also elaborated, from its humble place during medieval times to the growth of the art during the Renaissance in both England and Italy. Wolf describes the various forms of theatre as it evolved through the times, from the advent of neoclassicism, romanticism, and melodrama, to the eventual emergence of the modern period and the genres of realism and antirealism.
“Introduction to Theatre” is an ideal read for aspiring thespians who wish to bolster their knowledge on the performance arts. Wolf’s work is a comprehensive and thorough exploration of the world of theatre, from its past to its latest developments in the present.
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About the Author
Laurie J. Wolf is an Associate Professor of Theatre at the College of William and Mary, where she teaches Theatre History, Critical Theory, Feminist Theory and Film Studies. She is the author of two books, an edited edition of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook (2001), co-written with Colin Counsell; numerous articles and reviews, encyclopedia entries, and book chapters. Wolf also serves on the editorial boards of Theatre Annual and The International Journal of the Humanities. She holds a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Introduction to Theater * by Laurie J. Wolf
A Direct Approach
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