Script Analysis for Theatre

Script Analysis for Theatre $37.99

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Robert Knopf

Published by Methuen

Sub-titled Tools for Interpretation, Collaboration and Production, Script Analysis for Theatre provides theatre students and emerging theatre artists with the tools, skills and a shared language to analyze play scripts, communicate about them, and collaborate with others on stage productions

Based largely on concepts derived from Stanislavski's system of acting and method acting, the book focuses on action - what characters do to each other in specific circumstances, times, and places - as the engine of every play

From this foundation, readers will learn to distinguish the big picture of a script, dissect and 'score' smaller units and moment-to-moment action, and create individualized blueprints from which to collaborate on shaping the action in production from their perspectives as actors, directors, and designers

Script Analysis for Theatre offers a practical approach to script analysis for theatre production and is grounded in case studies of a range of the most studied plays

These include Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Georg Büchner's Woyzeck, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, among others

Readers will develop the real-life skills professional theatre artists use to design, rehearse, and produce plays





ONE: The World of the Play

Given circumstances
Previous action Dramaturgy
The writing of the play and order of scenes

TWO: Structure and Action

Point of attack
Number of scenes
Number of locations
Number of characters
Number of plots
Type of causality
Actions and objectives

THREE: Process

Core action

FOUR: Blueprints

Given circumstances blueprint
Character blueprint
Relationship blueprint
Structure blueprint
Environment blueprint


A. Action Verbs
B. Sample Scores
Select Bibliography


"Script Analysis for Theatre provides excellent techniques developed over a lifetime of work with actors, directors, designers, in the classroom and on stage. The book is seasoned, smart and practical, equipping students with an essential toolbox for engaging with scripts" ~ Jim Volz, Professor of Theatre History at California State University at Fullerton, USA

"I am deeply impressed by the precise way in which it fuses a broad theoretical understanding of drama with the practical analysis of texts, and have little but praise for it. I am very familiar with the range of existing script analysis texts, and this is one of the few I would consider assigning in full to an undergraduate script analysis class" ~ Art Borreca, Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Department of Theatre Arts, University of Iowa, USA

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