Synopses & Reviews
With the skills of a playwright, the vision of a producer, and the wisdom of an experienced teacher, David Rush offers a fresh and innovative guide to interpreting drama in A Student Guide to Play Analysis, the first undergraduate teaching tool to address postmodern drama in addition to classic and modern. Covering a wide gamut of texts and genres, this far-reaching and user-friendly volume is easily paired with most anthologies of plays and is accessible even to those without a literary background.
Contending that there are no right or wrong answers in play analysis, Rush emphasizes the importance of students developing insights of their own. The process is twofold: understand the critical terms that are used to define various parts and then apply these to a particular play. Rush clarifies the concepts of plot, character, and language, advancing Aristotles concept of the Four Causes as a method for approaching a play through various critical windows. He describes the essential difference between a story and a play, outlines four ways of looking at plays, and then takes up the typical structural devices of a well-made play, four primary genres and their hybrids, and numerous styles, from expressionism to postmodernism.
For each subject, he defines critical norms and analyzes plays common to the canon. A Student Guide to Play Analysis draws on thoughtful examinations of such dramas as The Cherry Orchard, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Fences, The Little Foxes, A Doll House, The Glass Menagerie, and The Emperor Jones. Each chapter ends with a list of questions that will guide students in further study.
About the Author
David Rush is an associate professor of theatre at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he has taught play analysis for over ten years. Named 2002 Playwriting Teacher of the Year by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Rush is a Resident Writer Emeritus of the Chicago Dramatists and an ensemble member at the Stage Left Theater in Chicago. He has written over twenty plays and musicals, including the productions Cuttings (2003), Prairie Lights (2002), and Police Deaf Near Far (2000), Dapples & Grays (1994), and Leander Stillwell (1992).