Synopses & Reviews
While successful plays tend to share certain storytelling elements, there is no single blueprint for how a play should be constructed. Instead, seasoned playwrights know how to select the right elements for their needs and organize them in a structure that best supports their particular story.
Through his workshops and book The Dramatic Writerandrsquo;s Companion, Will Dunne has helped thousands of writers develop successful scripts. Now, in The Architecture of Story, he helps writers master the building blocks of dramatic storytelling by analyzing a trio of award-winning contemporary American plays: Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. Dismantling the stories and examining key components from a technical perspective enables writers to approach their own work with an informed understanding of dramatic architecture.
Each self-contained chapter focuses on one storytelling component, ranging from andldquo;Titleandrdquo; and andldquo;Main Eventandrdquo; to andldquo;Emotional Environmentandrdquo; and andldquo;Crisis Decision.andrdquo; and#160;Dunne explores each component in detail, demonstrating how it has been successfully handled in each play and comparing and contrasting techniques. and#160;The chapters conclude with questions to help writers evaluate and improve their own scripts. The result is a nonlinear reference guide that lets writers work at their own pace and choose the topics that interest them as they develop new scripts. This flexible, interactive structure is designed to meet the needs of writers at all stages of writing and at all levels of experience.
"James Thomas has written a great resource book for anyone creating theatre. The information is detailed, clear, and easily applicable to text analysis for actors, directors, and designers." --Barbara Anger, Ithaca College
"This book has been overwhelmingly effective in meeting the goals I set for this course." --Perry Crafton, West Texas A&M University
Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers applies directly to the experience of theatrical production. You will immediately be able to inforporate the concepts and processes you learn into both your practical and creative work. Whether you are an actor, a director, or a designer, you will benefit from clear and comprehensive examples, end-of-chapter questions, and summaries meant to stimulate their creative process as they engage in production work.
Based on the premise that plays should be objects of study in and of themselves, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers teaches an established system of classifications that examines the written part of a play. This fourth edition will include in-depth analysis of unconventional plays, which are more frequent on amateur and professional stages. These plays present unique analytical challenges that the author teaches you the unusual ways in which the subject matter operates in unconventional plays.
* Each chapter has comprehensive examples, end-of-chapter questions, and summaries to stimulate your creative process
* NEW focus on unconventional plays
* Expanded information on Action Analysis
* NEW appendix with helpful forms for Action Analysis and Formalist Analysis
About the Author
James Thomas, Professor of Theatre at Wayne State University and Head of its PhD Program in Directing and Theatre Scholarship, is a graduate of St. Ambrose College (BA), Villanova University (MA), and the University of Texas at Austin (PhD). Thomas has also taught theatre at Mount Holyoke College, Marquette University and Florida State University, where he was Associate Dean. His recent directing credits include Six Characters in Search of an Author and Cymbeline at Detroit’s Hilberry Theatre, and Ah, Wilderness! and The Skin of our Teeth at the Bonstelle Theatre. He is also translator of texts about modern Russian acting and directing technique and Director of the Department’s Study Abroad Program with the Moscow Art Theatre School. He is currently at work on a study of Shakespeare’s plays for actors, directors and designers.
Professor of Theatre, Wayne State University; Head of the PhD Program in Directing and Theatre Scholarship, Detroit, MI, USA
Table of Contents
Action Analysis; Fountations of the Plot: Given Circumstances; Foundations of the Plot: The Background Story; Plot: External and Internal Action; Plot: Progression and Structure; Character; Idea; Dialogue; Tempo, Rhythm, and Mood; The Style of the Play; A Final Word about Dramatic Form; Supplimentary Topics for Script Analysis; Introduction to Genres and Styles of Drama; Bibliography