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Theatre Arts   Tags: drama, plays, theater  

This guide contains recommended books, free websites, film, and databases—collections of scholarly journal articles and other resources—that support research in the field of theatre arts.
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Weavers of Dreams, Unite! - Sean P. Holmes
Call Number: eBook
ISBN: 9780252037481
Publication Date: 2013-04-01
Published to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the Actors' Equity Association in 1913, Weavers of Dreams, Unite! explores the history of actors' unionism in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the onset of the Great Depression. Drawing upon hitherto untapped archival resources in New York and Los Angeles, Sean P. Holmes documents how American stage actors used trade unionism to construct for themselves an occupational identity that foregrounded both their artistry and their respectability. In the process, he paints a vivid picture of life on the theatrical shop floor in an era in which economic, cultural, and technological changes were transforming the nature of acting as work. The engaging study offers important insights into the nature of cultural production in the early twentieth century, the role of class in the construction of cultural hierarchy, and the special problems that unionization posed for workers in the commercial entertainment industry.

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Comedy Tonight! - Jay Malarcher (Editor); Boris Senker (Contribution by); Bihiana S. Horission (Contribution by); Edward B. Wallace (Contribution by); Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian (Contribution by); Steven D. Burch (Contribution by); Patrick Bynane (Contribution by); Diana
Call Number: eBook
ISBN: 9780817355104
Publication Date: 2008-10-28
For centuries scholars, philosophers, and practitioners have attempted to explain just what constitutes comedy, and though no one has come close to a definitive explanation, each attempt highlights some distinct facet of the genre--the genre that Woody Allen has said eats at the children's table . . . even in the world of scholarship.   The essays gathered in Volume 16 of the annual journal Theatre Symposium illustrate well the range of material that falls under the heading "comedy" as it is played on stage.   Stanley Longman's essay on "The Commedia dell'Arte as the Quintessence of Comedy" introduces us to the inhabitants of "Commediatown," character types who are descendents of the Greeks and ancestors, it seems, of almost everyone who came after. Boris Senker, an eyewitness to Croatia's evolution from communism to democracy, reports on the all-too-real "Commedia" stereotypes that have found their way onto the stage in his homeland.   Other essays address the improvisational nature of "Commedia"; the roots of laughter and the expectations inherent in presenting "old schtick" to a new generation; comedic technique, verbal and physical, in Molière; the use of the macabre to create humor in the "Théâtre du Grand Guignol"; the story of Henry Fielding, the theatre practitioner most responsible for the British government's crackdown on subversive material, via the Licensing Act of 1737; Beckett's theatrical connections to the comedy theory of Henri Bergson; and do-it-yourself (DIY) comedy--happenings, situations, gatherings--as practiced in British stand-up comedy.   Theatre Symposium: Volume 16 provides just a glimpse into the possibilities for comedy on the stage. If the past examples allow for extrapolation into the future, the position of comedy as a means of communicating problems and solutions for society's woes is remarkably sound.

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Cutting Performances - James M. Harding
Call Number: eBook
ISBN: 9780472035205
Publication Date: 2012-06-26
"A thoughtful and engaging contribution to the field that will have a sustained and lasting impact on the way feminist performance is defined and understood, as well as on how feminist histories and historiographies continue to challenge and transform the larger field of performance." ---Charlotte Canning, The University of Texas at Austin "Harding forcefully challenges and destabilizes the male-centered Eurocentric genealogy of the avant-garde, which he claims is an uncontested, linear, positivistic history, unproblematized by theory. Then he argues that this gendered biased version of the European avant-garde is carried over into American historiography . . . A forceful case for a revisionist history." ---Daniel Gerould, The City University of New York Graduate Center Cutting Performanceschallenges four decades' worth of scholarship on the American avant-garde by offering a provocative reconceptualization of the history of avant-garde performance along feminist lines. Focusing on five women artists (Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Gertrude Stein, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, and Valerie Solanas) whose performance aesthetics made prominent use of collage techniques, James M. Harding sheds light on the cultural history of the avant-garde and the role that experimental women artists played in that history. He investigates the prominent position that collage technique occupied within the artists' performance aesthetic, and the decisively feminist inflection that their work gives to collage as a mode of avant-garde expression. The radical juxtapositions in their works produce the powerful effects of making the familiar strange and establishing contexts from which new understandings may emerge. Harding examines the performative dimensions of collage in experimental, feminist redefinitions of the literary, graphic, and theatrical arts, filling a void in a scholarly discourse that, while ostensibly about the vanguard, has lagged well behind other significant theoretical and historiographical currents.Cutting Performancesnot only challenges assumptions that have governed scholarship on the American avant-garde but also establishes a context to rethink the history of American avant-garde performance along feminist lines. It will appeal to audiences interested in theater history and performance studies as well as those interested in the cultural history of the avant-garde and the role that feminist experimental artists have played in it. James M. Harding is Professor of English at the University of Mary Washington. His other books includeNot the Other Avant-Garde: Transnational Foundations of Avant-Garde Performance(with John Rouse);Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theaters and Their Legacies(with Cindy Rosenthal); andContours of the Theatrical Avant-Garde: Performance and Textuality. Illustration: Carolee Schneemann inEye Body-36 Transformative Actions(1963) Action for camera (Photograph by Erró). Reproduced by permission of Carolee Schneemann.


Print Books

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The Greatest Shows on Earth - John Freeman (Editor)
Call Number: Lee Campus Circulation PN2035 .F74 2011
ISBN: 9781907471544
Publication Date: 2012-01-01
Written from various perspectives—international actors, directors, playwrights, academics, dancers, and artists—this book examines and celebrates 14 theater events from a dozen countries. As it makes a case for what makes certain theater productions great, this record also offers examples of writing about theater that imbues the analysis with emotion and documentation. From Peter Brook’s King Lear of 1962 through 2010’s Oberammergau Passionsspiele, the performances described are seminal works indeed.

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The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance - Dennis Kennedy (Editor)
Call Number: Charlotte Campus Circulation PN2035 .O94 2010
ISBN: 9780199574193
Publication Date: 2010-09-17
Ranging from ancient Greek tragedies to the latest developments around the globe, The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance provides an all-embracing approach that encompasses drama and musical, opera, dance, radio, and non-dramatic performances including circuses and parades. Based on the celebrated two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, this compact, affordable Companion features more than 2,000 up-to-date entries, covering styles and movements, buildings, organizations, and traditions--with a particularly strong focus on biographies of actors, playwrights, directors, and designers. Editor Dennis Kennedy has significantly updated the timeline of historical and cultural events in the world of theatre and performance, and he has added an appendix of useful weblinks, which are supported and accessible through a companion website. Finally, the book includes many new entries that cover the people and companies who have come into prominence since the publication of the Encyclopedia.

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Theatre Histories - Phillip B. Zarrilli; Bruce A. McConachie; Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei; Gary Jay Williams
Call Number: Charlotte and Lee Campuses Circulation PN2101 .T48 2010
ISBN: 9780415462235
Publication Date: 2010-02-05
Thisnbsp;new edition ofnbsp; the innovative andnbsp; widely acclaimed Theatre Histories: An Introductionnbsp;offers overviews of theatre and drama in many world cultures and periods together with case studies demonstrating the methods and interpretive approaches used by today's theatre historians. Completely revised and renewed in color, enhancements and new material include: anbsp;full-color text design with added timelines to each opening section anbsp;wealth of new color illustrations to help convey the vitality of performances described new case studies on African, Asian, and Western subjects anbsp;new chapter on modernism, and updated and expanded chapters and part introductions fuller definitions of terms and concepts throughout in a new glossary anbsp;re-designed support website offering links to new audio-visual resources, expanded bibliographies, approaches to teaching theatre and performance history, discussion questions relating tonbsp;case studiesnbsp;and an online glossary.


Streaming Videos

Our Town - RetroFilm Archive
Call Number: Streaming Video
Publication Date: 2014
Thornton Wilder’s finest play, a deeply sympathetic examination of lives in small-town America, is here given an outstanding adaptation. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Street Journeys : Using Theater to Transform the Lives of At-Risk Youth - Cinetic Media (Firm).
Call Number: Streaming Video
Publication Date: 2013
Shangilia Mtoto wa Afrika (Rejoice Child of Africa) is an orphanage in Nairobi that uses performing arts as a tool to improve the lives of street children-and, in the process, change the negative stereotype of these children held by Kenyan society. This inspiring documentary tells the story of how veteran actress Anne Wanjugu created Shangilia-and how, after she suddenly passed away, the organization overcame obstacles that arose with the loss of their dedicated "Mama Anne." Archival footage of Anne Wanjugu, interviews with Shangilia children, and rehearsal and performance clips from Kenya and the U.S. offer multiple perspectives on urban poverty and the healing potential of the arts to transform troubled children once looked upon as a danger to society. "It is the stage that has helped these children so much," says Anne, "and if I didn't have any knowledge of the stage, I don't think I would have been able to do anything with them.

All’s Well That Ends Well : Live from Shakespeare’s Globe - Electric Sky
Call Number: Streaming Video
Publication Date: 2013
Helena loves the arrogant Bertram, and when she cures the king of France of a deadly illness, she claims Bertram as her reward. But her brand new husband attaches two obstructive conditions to their marriage-conditions he is sure will never be met. Considered one of Shakespeare’s "problem plays," All’s Well That Ends Well mixes romance with realism at every turn, brilliantly reverses all the usual expectations of Elizabethan comedy, and delights the audience with a fantastic cast of frauds, cynics, sentimentalists, and buffoons. This stunning Globe performance stars Ellie Piercy as an assertive and single-minded Helena, Sam Crane as a convincingly conflicted Bertram, and Michael Bertenshaw as the venerable Lafew.


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