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Greek and Roman epic poetry has always provided creative artists in the modern world with a rich storehouse of themes. Tim Supple and Simon Reade's 1999 stage adaptation of Ted Hughes' Tales from Ovid for the RSC heralded a new lease of life for receptions of the genre, and it now routinely provides raw material for the performance repertoire of both major cultural institutions and emergent, experimental theatre companies. This volume represents the first systematic attempt to chart the afterlife of epic in modern performance traditions, with chapters covering not only a significant chronological span, but also ranging widely across both place and genre, analysing lyric, film, dance, and opera from Europe to Asia and the Americas. What emerges most clearly is how anxieties about the ability to write epic in the early modern world, together with the ancient precedent of Greek tragedy's reworking of epic material, explain its migration to the theatre. This move, though, was not without problems, as epic encountered the barriers imposed by neo-classicists, who sought to restrict serious theatre to a narrowly defined reality that precluded its broad sweeps across time and place. In many instances in recent years, the fact that the Homeric epics were composed orally has rendered reinvention not only legitimate, but also deeply appropriate, opening up a range of forms and traditions within which epic themes and structures may be explored. Drawing on the expertise of specialists from the fields of classical studies, English and comparative literature, modern languages, music, dance, and theatre and performance studies, as well as from practitioners within the creative industries, the volume is able to offer an unprecedented modern and dynamic study of 'epic' content and form across myriad diverse performance arenas.
This newly commissioned series of essays by leading scholars is the first volume to offer both an overview of the field and also current emerging critical views on the history, form, and influence of English melodrama. Authoritative voices provide an introduction to melodrama's early formal features such as tableaux and music, and trace the development of the genre in the nineteenth century through the texts and performances of its various sub-genres, the theatres within which the plays were performed, and the audiences who watched them. The historical contexts of melodrama are considered through essays on topics including contemporary politics, class, gender, race, and empire. And the extensive influences of melodrama are demonstrated through a wide-ranging assessment of its ongoing and sometimes unexpected expressions - in psychoanalysis, in other art forms (the novel, film, television, musical theatre), and in popular culture generally - from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century.
Samuel Beckett has long carried the aura of an artist ""damned to fame."" Known for being a recluse with a profound distaste for publicity, Beckett gained a legendary image, infusing much of the critical attention that his literary work continues to receive. In this highly original and audacious volume, Dilks sharply departs from existing accounts of Beckett's persona by developing a critical analysis of his life as a professional writer. Focusing on the period between 1929 and 1969, and taking into account published and unpublished letters, advertising materials, photographic portraits, royalty statements, and other archival material, Samuel Beckett in the Literary Marketplace offers a powerful challenge to the received understanding of Beckett as an author shy of fame, averse to self-promotion, and unconcerned with commercial success. Showing how Beckett's assumptions about professional life were shaped by his socioeconomic upbringing in South Dublin, Dilks illustrates the author's protracted efforts to develop and sustain a successful career as a professional writer with an enduring legacy. Dilks explores in great detail how Beckett fashioned an authorial persona, shaped public reception of his work, and controlled his business affairs. He shrewdly used agents and professional acquaintances to market himself as an unknown celebrity and to defend and disseminate his public image. Throughout, the book acknowledges Beckett's self-consciousness about his mythic relationship with the literary marketplace.
Richard III is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays on the stage and has been adapted successfully for film. This new and innovative edition recognizes the play's pre-eminence as a performance work: a perspective that informs every aspect of the editing. Challenging traditional practice, the text is based on the 1597 Quarto which, it is argued, brings us closest to the play as it would have been staged in Shakespeare's theatre. The introduction, which is illustrated, explores the long performance history from Shakespeare's time to the present. Its critical engagement with the play responds to recent historicist and gender-based approaches. The commentary gives detailed explication of matters of language, staging, text, and historical and cultural contexts, providing coverage that is both carefully balanced and alert to nuance of meaning. Documentation of the extensive textual variants is organized for maximum clarity: the readings of the Folio and the Quarto are presented in separate banks, and more specialist information is given at the back of the book. Appendices also include selected passages from the main source and a special index of actors and other theatrical personnel. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
York Notes Advanced offer a fresh and accessible approach to English Literature. This market-leading series has been completely updated to meet the needs of today's A-level and undergraduate students. Written by established literature experts, York Notes Advanced intorduce students to more sophisticated analysis, a range of critical perspectives and wider contexts.
For generations, fans and critics have characterized classic American radio drama as a "theater of the mind". This book examines that characterization by recasting the radio play as an aesthetic object within its unique historical context. In "Theater of the Mind", Neil Verma applies an array of critical methods to more than six thousand recordings to produce a vivid new account of radio drama from the Depression to the Cold War. In this sweeping exploration of dramatic conventions, Verma investigates legendary dramas by the likes of Norman Corwin, Lucille Fletcher, and Wyllis Cooper on key programs ranging from The Columbia Workshop, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, and Cavalcade of America to Lights Out!, Suspense, and Dragnet to reveal how these programs promoted and evolved a series of models of the imagination. With close readings of individual sound effects and charts of broad trends among formats, Verma not only gives us a new account of the most flourishing form of genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century but also presents a powerful case for the central place of the aesthetics of sound in the history of modern experience.
Terayama Shuji (1935-1983) was an avant-garde Japanese poet,
dramatist, film director, and photographer known for his highly
provocative work. In this inventive and revealing work, Steven
Ridgely examines Terayama's life and art to show that a
conventional notion of him does not do full justice to the meaning
and importance of his wide-ranging, often playful body of
We know little about the nature of medieval performance and have generally been content to think of it in relation to more modern productions, not least because of the sparsity of existing evidence. Consequently, whilst much research has been undertaken into its contexts, there has been relatively little scholarly investigation into the conditions of perfomance itself. This book seeks to address this omission. It looks at such questions as the nature of performance in theatre/dance/puppetry/automata; the performed qualities of such events; the conventions of performed work; what took place in the act of performing; and the relationships between performers and witnesses, and what conditioned them. Philip Butterworth is Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds, where he was formerly Reader in Medieval Theatre and Dean for Research; Katie Normington is Senior Vice Principal (Academic) at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is also Professor of Drama. Contributors: Kathryn Emily Dickason, Leanne Groeneveld, Max Harris, David Klausner, Femke Kramer, Jennifer Nevile, Nerida Newbigin, Tom Pettitt, Bart Ramakers, Claire Sponsler.
Focusing on major and emerging playwrights, institutions, and various theatre practices this "Concise Companion "examines the key issues in British and Irish theatre since 1979. Written by leading international scholars in the field, this collection offers new ways of thinking about the social, political, and cultural contexts within which specific aspects of British and Irish theatre have emerged and explores the relationship between these contexts and the works produced. It investigates why particular issues and practices have emerged as significant in the theatre of this period.
Part of the Writers' Britain series, first published in the 1940s, this book offers Graham Greene's evaluation of British drama, from its roots in the Mystery and Miracle plays of the market carnival through Shakespeare and the Restoration to the 20th century.
A unique collection of everything that Ibsen wrote about the theatre. Three new productions of plays by Henrik Ibsen open somewhere in the world every week. Moreover, they are adapted into multiple genres: Chinese and Western Opera, Japanese Noh theatre, puppet plays, musicals, dance performances, tourist spectacles, promenade performances, applied theatre, community events, and every possible screen technology. The more successful Ibsen became as a playwright, the more reluctant he was to make public pronouncements about the practice of theatre, but his thoughts on the art form can be gleaned by mining his prefaces, letters, speeches and newspaper articles. For the first time, these fragments have been gathered together in one volume. Arranged chronologically, they throw a unique light on Ibsen's views on theatre production, casting, translation, the business of theatre, and most importantly his own plays. The result is an invaluable resource for those who seek to know what Ibsen himself thought about his work and about the theatre of his time. Ibsen on Theatre is edited, introduced and annotated by Frode Helland and Julie Holledge, with new translations by May-Brit Akerholt. Also included is a foreword by Richard Eyre. Ibsen on Theatre is in the Nick Hern Books ...On Theatre series: what the world's greatest dramatists had to say about theatre, in their own words. 'For anyone interested in Ibsen's plays-actors, directors, students, audiences-[this is] a marvellously accessible compendium of the thoughts of a man I now unhesitatingly describe as a very great playwright.' Richard Eyre, from his Foreword
Thomas May's The Tragedy of Antigone (1631), edited by Matteo Pangallo, is the first English treatment of the story made famous by Sophocles. This edition contains a facsimile of the copy held at the Beinecke Library of Yale University, making the play commercially available for the first time since its original publication. The extensive introduction discusses, among other things, the ownership history of existing copies and their marginal annotations, and of the play's topical political implications in the light of May's wavering between royalist and republican sympathies. Writing during the contentious early years of Charles I's reign, May used Sophocles' Antigone to explore the problems of just rule and justified rebellion. He also went beyond the scope of the original, adding content from a wide range of other classical and contemporary plays, poems and other sources, including Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. This volume will be essential reading for advanced students, researchers and teachers of early English drama and seventeenth-century political history. -- .
In this inventive mix of criticism, scholarship, and personal reflection, Carrie J. Preston explores the nature of cross-cultural teaching, learning, and performance. Throughout the twentieth century, Japanese noh was a major creative catalyst for American and European writers, dancers, and composers. The noh theater's stylized choreography, poetic chant, spectacular costumes and masks, and engagement with history inspired Western artists as they reimagined new approaches to tradition and form. In Learning to Kneel, Preston locates noh's important influence on such canonical figures as Pound, Yeats, Brecht, Britten, and Beckett. These writers learned about noh from an international cast of collaborators, and Preston traces the ways in which Japanese and Western artists influenced one another. Preston's critical work was profoundly shaped by her own training in noh performance technique under a professional actor in Tokyo, who taught her to kneel, bow, chant, and submit to the teachings of a conservative tradition. This encounter challenged Preston's assumptions about effective teaching, particularly her inclinations to emphasize Western ideas of innovation and subversion and to overlook the complex ranges of agency experienced by teachers and students. It also inspired new perspectives regarding the generative relationship between Western writers and Japanese performers. Pound, Yeats, Brecht, and others are often criticized for their orientalist tendencies and misappropriation of noh, but Preston's analysis and her journey reflect a more nuanced understanding of cultural exchange.
Oxford Student Texts offer an accessible route into the study of texts for A Level including line-by-line notes, and detailed sections covering key themes, issues and contexts. This edition focuses on Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde.
Nobel Prize - winning author S. Y. Agnon was the foremost Hebrew writer of the twentieth century. His work navigated the world of Jewish tradition and that of secular modernity, capturing the conflict between old and new. In ""Language, Absence, Play"", Yaniv Hagbi explores Agnon's theological and philosophical attitudes toward language, attitudes that to a large extent shaped his poetics and aesthetic values. Drawing on anthologies compiled by Agnon, among others, Hagbi examines his theoretical orientation and the ways he integrated into his poetics ideas about language that are rooted in Jewish theology. In doing so, Hagbi casts light on profound parallels between religiously inspired Jewish hermeneutics and the language-centered superstructuralist theories that have dominated academic discourse in the humanities since the mid-twentieth century. With deep insight and lucid prose, ""Language, Absence, Play"" demonstrates how the traditional and the contemporary forces shaping Agnon's literary art inform and transform each other.
Includes the full French text, accompanied by French-English vocabulary. Notes and a detailed introduction in English put the work in its social and historical context.
Playwriting is a skill under-explored in the classroom, despite the strong evidence that it's an engaging and rewarding activity for young people. Teaching Playwriting addresses this gap and is an essential resource for teachers wanting to gain the skills and confidence necessary to introduce playwriting to their students. Based on rich research and clearly explained theoretical concepts, the book explores the lessons from creativity theory that will provide the teacher with the skills and knowledge necessary to empower students' writing and creativity. It also includes extensive practical activities and writing exercises to develop students' playwriting proficiency and creative capacity. Discussing key concepts in playwriting such as idea, dialogue, character, action and structure, the book enables teachers to respond to the unique learning needs of their students and help them tell their stories and reach their potential as young playwrights.
The Greek Tragedy in New Translations series is based on the
conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves, or
who work in collaboration with poets, can properly re-create the
celebrated and timeless tragedies of the great Greek writers. These
new translations are more than faithful to the original text, going
beyond the literal meaning in order to evoke the poetic intensity
and rich metaphorical texture of the Greek language.
First published in 2006, Alek's Sierz's The Theatre of Martin Crimp provided a groundbreaking study of one of British theatre's leading contemporary playwrights. Combining Sierz's lucid prose and sharp analysis together with interviews with Martin Crimp and a host of directors and actors who have produced the work, it offered a richly rewarding and engaging assessment of this acutely satirical playwright. The second edition additionally explores the work produced between 2006 and 2013, both the major new plays and the translations and other work. The second edition considers The City, the 2008 companion play to The Country, Play House from 2012 and the new work for the Royal Court in late 2012. The two works that have brought Crimp considerable international acclaim in recent years, the updated rewrite of The Misanthrope which in 2009 played for several months in the West End starring Keira Knightley, and Crimp's translation of Botho Strauss's Big and Small (Barbican, 2012), together with Crimp's other work in translation are all covered. The Theatre of Martin Crimp remains the fullest, most readable account of Crimps's work for the stage.
'I have no name for the thing which is in my head. It is not envy. It is more than envy. It does not scare me. I must look close enough to look at what it is.' A ploughman and his wife live a simple existence in a pre-industrial time until they, along with the hated local miller, are drawn into a struggle of knowledge, power and attraction. David Harrower's haunting play established him as one of the UK's leading contemporary playwrights. This new edition is published to coincide with the new production of this tense modern classic at the Donmar Warehouse in August 2017, directed by Yael Farber.
As one of Egyptian theater's leading contemporary playwrights, Alfred Farag has had a profound influence on shaping Arabic drama and Egyptian cultural politics during the past five decades. His plays interrogate the human condition, exposing the struggles of nonheroic individuals faced with political, social, and economic abuse. Farag's dramatic themes, his tireless campaign to democratize the theater, and his encouragement of cultural awareness in the remote and rural regions of Egypt in addition to the cities led to his imprisonment, battles with censorship, and exile. This remarkable writer's indomitable spirit is clearly evidenced in his spending a large part of his time while imprisoned writing plays for performances by his fellow prisons. In the first book-length examination of his work in English, Dina Amin chronicles Farag's career and offers a critical perspective on his creative output and the condition of Egyptian theater in the 1970s through the 1990s.Farag is best known for the folkloric and neorealist plays he produced during the sixties, but critics have consistently overlooked the immense body of work produced in the thirty years that followed. Filling that gap, Amin offers an account of the sophisticated development of his later work, revealing his bold experimentation and successful embrace of modernist, absurdist, and post-modern styles. With fresh insight, Amin contextualizes these works within Farag's own creative history and the larger history of Arabic theater. This book, with the inclusion of four plays and a monologue (translated for the first time into English), will bring a much-deserved wider audience to the work of this extraordinary dramatist.
In 1994 the Arts Council of Great Britain brought together a number of theatre directors as part of the City of Drama celebrations. This is a collection of interviews and discussions with directors who have helped shape the development of theatre in the last 20 years. They include Peter Brook, Peter Stein, Augusto Boal, Jorge Lavelli, Lluis Pasqual, Lev Dodin, Maria Irene Fornes, Jonathan Miller, Jatinder Verma, Peter Sellars, Declan Donnellan, Ariane Mnouchkine, Ion Caramitru, Yukio Ninagawa and Robert Wilson. In addition to the art and craft of directing, there are discussions on multiculturalism; the "classical" repertoire; theatre companies and institutions; working in a foreign language; opera; Shakespeare; new technologies; the art of acting; design; international festivals; politics and aesthetics; the audience; and theatre and society. Finally, there is an epilogue by Peter Brook, Jonathan Miller and Oliver Sacks. -- .
The plays in this theater book give teenage performers the chance to reveal the unique identities and motivations of students their own age. These brief plays may be used for speech and drama classrooms, forensic competitions or variety shows. They are easily staged with no sets or costumes. Topics include: how to be popular, jealousy, shoplifting, pranks and more. Included are scripts for girls only, scripts for boys only and scripts for mixed casts. The dialog in all the plays is believable and easy to perform.
Key features of this text: How to study the text Author and historical background General and detailed summaries Commentary on themes, structure, characters, language and style Glossaries Test questions and issues to consider Essay writing advice Cultural connections Literary terms Illustrations Colour design
John Ford's tragedy, first printed in 1633, is the first major
English play to take as its theme a subject still rarely handled:
fulfilled incest between brother and sister. It is one of the most
studied and performed of all plays of the period, and has been
successfully adapted for film and radio. The Revels plays edition
by Derek Roper has been the standard scholarly edition since it
appeared in 1975. This new edition uses the same authoritative
text, but with notes designed for modern undergraduate use. The
substantial introduction has been completely rewritten to take
account of the studies and new approaches of the last twenty years.
it presents the play as an 'interrogative text', in which
subversive meanings are inscribed within an apparently orthodox
narrative; as a courageous treatment of forbidden love; and as an
achieved work of Baroque art.
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