38 Theatre

An American Playgoer at Home

Author: Joseph Donohue

Description: An American Playgoer at Home serves as a companion volume to An American Playgoer in London. It captures the author’s theatregoing on his home territory in Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts, in Hartford, Connecticut, in New York City, and in other places in the USA and in Canada as well. As a companion volume it covers approximately the same period of roughly four decades, from the early 1970s into the second decade of the new century. Almost all of the reviews are of live theatre; a few are of films that have an important dramatic quality or are a film version of an existing play, as in the instance of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh.

An American Playgoer in London

Author: Joseph Donohue

Description: In June 1970 I first conceived the idea of setting down in a notebook my experiences of theatregoing. It turned out to be a life-long habit. As the years went on, I became an experienced planner of theatre visits over a two- or three- or four-week sojourn in London, or occasion­ally over an entire semes­ter or year. I found it possible to see three plays on a single Saturday, with brisk taxi rides well coordinated to deliver me in time for each opening curtain. I learned how best to purchase tickets, some arranged by telephone and credit card before leaving home in Massachusetts, others obtained by timely visits or phone calls to box offices — arrangements informed by the current weekly issue of the tourist’s invaluable companion, What’s On. Afternoons and evenings were often spent in theatre auditoriums, while late nights were spent back in the Endell Street flat writing up the play or plays seen that day and sometimes catching up with that welcome task during the first hour of the next day in the peaceful ambiance of the reading room of the new British Library in Euston. It was a challenge and a pleasure to play both ends against the middle in this way, leading the double life of a theatre scholar and playgoer.

The documentary offspring of those days and months, years and decades, are the reviews gathered together here. They include, in later years, reviews of screenings of National Theatre and other London productions filmed live and broadcast to local cinema audiences around the world, including the Amherst (Massachusetts) Cinema, just a few miles from my home. They form a concrete personal history of something like one hundred and twenty-five after­noons and evenings spent in the exhil­arating confines of West End and fringe theatres — a history progressively compiled usually within an hour of returning from the performance, when I would sit down to capture the particulars of my experience while the memory was fresh and unmediated.

La France Sauvée ou le Tyran Détrôné: A Dramaturgical Casebook

Author: Olympe de Gouges


This digital humanities project is an example of a digital dramaturgical casebook for the play, La France Sauvée, ou le Tyran Détrôné (France Preserved, or the Tyrant Dethroned, 1792).  The dramaturgical casebook includes a master copy of the script as well as contextual/historical research pertaining to the playwright, characters in the play, and costume and set design. There is also a bibliography of sources. The purpose of the project is to provide a model for the kind of engagement drama faculty and students can have with a text in the digital realm either as part of a class or a production.

An Introduction to Technical Theatre

The textbook provides a comprehensive overview of technical theatre, including terminology and general practices.

Miles Gloriosus, or The Braggart Captain

Author: T. Maccius Plautus

Editor: Henry Thomas Riley

Translator:  Henry Thomas Riley

Description: The Comedies of Plautus. Miles Gloriosus, or The Braggart Captain. Henry Thomas Riley. London. G. Bell and Sons. 1912. The underlying work is in the Public Domain in Canada and the United States. Digitized by Perseus Digital Library, Tufts University. Moved to Pressbooks by Ryerson Library. .Creative Commons License This work is licensed by Tufts University under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Phaedra: A Tragedy

Author: Jean Racine

Description: Here is yet another tragedy, the subject of which is taken from Euripides. Although I have followed a somewhat different route from that of this author in the conduct of the action, I have not stopped enriching my play with all that seemed to me most brilliant in his. When I owed him only the sole idea of ​​Phèdre’s character, I could say that I owe him what I have perhaps put most reasonable on the stage. I am not surprised that this character had such a happy success in Euripides’ time, and that it has still succeeded so well in our century, since it has all the qualities that Aristotle asks for in the hero of tragedy. , and which are calculated to excite compassion and terror. Indeed, Phèdre is neither entirely guilty, nor entirely innocent: she is committed, by her destiny and by the anger of the gods, in an illegitimate passion of which she was the first to abhor: she made all her efforts to overcome it: she preferred to let herself die than to declare it to no one; and when she is forced to discover it, she speaks of it with a confusion which shows clearly that her crime is rather a punishment from the gods than a movement of her will.

Romeo and Juliet

Editor: Rebecca Olson

Contributors: Amanda Armas, Elizabeth Babbs, Tessa Barone, Justin Bennett, Regan Breeden, Sydney Caleen, Grace Chappell, Kierstyn Cooper, Devin Curtis, Madison Dempsey, Mary Driskell, Dominique Duenas, Alessandra Ferriso, Megan Figlewicz, Serena Giunchigliani, Andrea Goicochea, Sarah Gram, Jessie Heine, Ethan Heusser, Aleah Hobbs, Bradley Hogle, Emily Kirchhofer, Garrett Kitamura, Bryn Landrus, Joseph Laver, Lindsey LeMay, Jessica Linde-Goodfellow, Aiden Littau, Jac Longstreth, Eric MacDougall, Michelle Miller, Mayra Reyes Cortes, Macey Richert, Marin Rosenquist, David Russo, Rachana Son, Sydney Sullivan, Samuel Sutherland, Nicholas Svoboda, Ruth Sylvester, Rebecca Thompson, Jalen Todd, Erin Vieira, Rebekah Villanti, Maya Walbridge, Caitlin Walsh, Benjamin Watts, and Jeffrey Williams

Description: In an effort funded through Open Oregon State and with support from Oregon State’s School of Writing, Literature, and Film, a group of 20 students, led by Dr. Rebecca Olson, crafted this edition of Romeo and Juliet with the vision that it be easily read and accessed by high school students everywhere. As a group, we decided upon a set of guiding principles, which included an effort to modernize spellings that are no longer in use, encourage your interaction with the text, and support the Shakespeare-related Common Core educational goals. Above all, we hope that this edition will allow you, the reader, to move through the text with little need to stop and look up an unfamiliar word, or to try and figure out what in the world a “Lanthorne” is (it’s an old-fashioned word for “lantern.” Could you imagine using that word for a lantern? Neither could we, so we changed it).

To put all this together, we created a set of guidelines to get us started. We decided which text versions of the play to use as primary sources and we settled on using one Quarto and the First Folio1. We decided that we wanted to include some very important things like footnotes—necessary to clarify some words and concepts, but often intimidating and numerous—but we determined that we’d keep them brief and use them only when necessary. We also decided on some more mundane things, like the font we wanted, which is clean and easily readable instead of that nasty Times New Roman. What ever happened to Times Old Roman anyway? We made countless other decisions at the outset of this project, and after establishing these ground rules we separated into editing groups, each focusing on a particular act within the play.

When the groups had completed their edited acts, we met again as a large group to review all the work together. It was at this time that we discovered how differently each editing group had approached our individual edited acts and scenes, while still following the same set of established guidelines.  Should we use bold for the character names?  How much white space should we include?  Should there be one space after a line of dialogue, or two?  How far should we indent the stage directions? What is the impact of these seemingly trivial questions on the experience of the reader?  The team set out to analyze these and many other questions. Our deliberations were lengthy, and at times unexpectedly heated. We learned much about ourselves (and about our apparent passion for uniform margins and un-bolded character names).

Tartuffe or the Hypocrite

Author: Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière

Translator: Curtis Hidden Page

Description: Jean Baptiste Poquelin, better known by his stage name of Molière, stands without a rival at the head of French comedy. Born at Paris in January, 1622, where his father held a position in the royal household, he was educated at the Jesuit College de Clermont, and for some time studied law, which he soon abandoned for the stage. His life was spent in Paris and in the provinces, acting, directing performances, managing theaters, and writing plays. He had his share of applause from the king and from the public; but the satire in his comedies made him many enemies, and he was the object of the most venomous attacks and the most impossible slanders. Nor did he find much solace at home; for he married unfortunately, and the unhappiness that followed increased the bitterness that public hostility had brought into his life. On February 17, 1673, while acting in “La Malade Imaginaire,” the last of his masterpieces, he was seized with illness and died a few hours later.

The first of the greater works of Molière was “Les Précieuses Ridicules,” produced in 1659. In this brilliant piece Molière lifted French comedy to a new level and gave it a new purpose—the satirizing of contemporary manners and affectations by frank portrayal and criticism. In the great plays that followed, “The School for Husbands” and “The School for Wives,” “The Misanthrope” and “The Hypocrite” (Tartuffe), “The Miser” and “The Hypochondriac,” “The Learned Ladies,” “The Doctor in Spite of Himself,” “The Citizen Turned Gentleman,” and many others, he exposed mercilessly one after another the vices and foibles of the day.

His characteristic qualities are nowhere better exhibited than in “Tartuffe.” Compared with such characterization as Shakespeare’s, Molière’s method of portraying life may seem to be lacking in complexity; but it is precisely the simplicity with which creations like Tartuffe embody the weakness or vice they represent that has given them their place as universally recognized types of human nature.


Theater Appreciation

Author: Nanci Love, Bay College

Description: This is a community course developed by an Achieving the Dream grantee. They have either curated or created a collection of faculty resources for this course. Since the resources are openly licensed, you may use them as is or adapt them to your needs.

Theatrical Worlds

This is an introductory textbook for theatre and theoretical production.

Transforming Stories, Driving Change

Authors: Helene Vosters, Catherine Graham, Chris Sinding, Jennie Vengris, Adam Perry, Melanie Skene, and Elysée Nouvet

Description: Can theatre bring new voices into public debate? Facilitating theatre workshops with community members who experience social marginalization is an art that, when done well, feels more like magic. But even the best facilitators are not magicians. With this workbook we pull back the curtain on the magic by taking readers behind the scenes of the Hamilton-based research and performance initiative Transforming Stories, Driving Change (TSDC.) Since 2015, TSDC teams have worked alongside community partners and performer-advocates to make plays designed to draw attention to the voices and visions of people whose opinions are not often represented in discussions of the future of the City. Through our performances, we have tried to contribute to building the movements that can make public leaders more accountable to people who are affected by their decisions. Five years and four plays later, we offer this workbook as a practical guide to TSDC’s creative approach.

Note on License: Transforming Stories, Driving Change by Helene Vosters, Catherine Graham, Chris Sinding is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.



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