The Elements of Theatrical Expression  book cover
1st Edition

The Elements of Theatrical Expression

ISBN 9780367352585
Published November 4, 2019 by Routledge
214 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $49.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Elements of Theatrical Expression puts forward 14 essential elements that make up the basic building blocks of theatre.

Is theatre a language? Does it have its own unique grammar? And if so, just what would the elements of such a grammar be? Brian Kulick asks readers to think of these elements as the rungs of a ladder, scaling one after the other to arrive at an aerial view of the theatrical landscape. From such a vantage point, one can begin to discern a line of development from the ancient Greeks, through Shakespeare and Chekhov, to a host of our own contemporary authors. He demonstrates how these elements may be transhistorical but are far from static, marking out a rich and dynamic theatrical language for a new generation of theatre makers to draw upon.

Suitable for directors, actors, writers, dramaturges, and all audiences who yearn for a deeper understanding of theatre, The Elements of Theatrical Expression equips its readers with the knowledge that they need to see and hear theatre in new and more daring ways.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  1. Introduction  2. Questions  3. Truth  4. Moments  5. Change  6. World  7. Character  8. States  9. Intentions  10. Actions  11. Obstacles  12. Events  13. Cores  14. About-ness  15. Remanence  Index

View More



Brian Kulick is Chair of Columbia's School of the Arts Theatre Program, where he also teaches directing with Anne Bogart. In addition to staging the works of the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, Brecht, and Tony Kushner, he has been the Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company and an Artistic Associate for The Public Theatre.


Elements of Theatrical Expression, Brian Kulick’s lucid and accessible examination of the language and grammar of the stage, is the most clarifying and edifying book about the theater that I have encountered in a very long time. His ideas are rooted in a lifetime of directing and scholarship and will prove insightful and useful for all serious practitioners, students and lovers of the theater.

-- Anne Bogart