Why the Theatre is a collection of 26 personal essays by college teachers, actors, directors, and playwrights about the magnetic pull of the theatre and its changing place in society.
The book is divided into four parts, examining the creative role of the audience, the life of the actor, director, and playwright in performance, ways the theatre moves beyond the playhouse and into the real world, and theories and thoughts on what the theatre can do when given form onstage. Based on concrete, highly personal examples, experiences, and memories, this collection offers unique perspectives on the meaning of the theatre and the beauty of weaving the world of the play into the fabric of our lives.
Covering a range of practices and plays, from the Greeks to Japanese Butoh theatre, from Shakespeare to modern experiments, this book is written by and for the theatre instructor and theatre appreciation student.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Creative Role of the Audience
1. Vouchsafe Me Audience
2. Training the Eye
S. P. Cerasano
3. Undeveloped Freight: Listening Together in the Playhouse
4. A Shakespeare Professor Becomes a Playgoer
Alan C. Dessen
5. Acting the Storm: Twenty Years of Tempests
6. From Theatre to Classroom: Making Teaching Effective
Part II: The Life of the Actor, Director, and Playwright in Performance
7. Why the Theatre? Breaking of the Fourth Wall
8. Play, Devising, and the Creative Process
9. I Am Thrilled by an Impure Theatre
10. In the Nick: Theatre in and of Our Times
11. "The Play" May Not Be "The Thing"—But Something Is
12. Why Butoh Theatre: Thoughts of the Actor, Questions From the Director
Yokko ( Yoshiko Sienkiewicz ) and Brian Rhinehart
13. Amateur Hour, or Notes From a Hack Playwright
Part III: When the Theatre Moves Beyond the Stage Into the Real World
14. Theatre for Health
15. Why Make Theatre in the South Pacific? A Personal View of Theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand
16. Empathy Is Essential
17. The Art of Failure
18. Why Teach Theatre?
19. Making Theatre Around the World, and What It Has Taught Me
Part IV: Theories and Thoughts About What the Theatre Can Do When Given Form Onstage
20. The Cruelty Tourist and the Emancipated Spectator: Looking for an Essential Theatre
21. Theatre and the Digital Native
22. Remembering Dreams
23. Theatrical Pleasure and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel
24. Yeat's "Lapis Lazuli" as Theatrum Mundi
Daniel T. O’Hara
25. Why (Not) Theatre? Stage, Screen, and Streaming in a Pandemic
Cary M. Mazer
Epilogue: "Yeh, Boss"
Sidney Homan is Professor of English at the University of Florida and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars. An actor and director in professional and university theatres, he is the author or editor of 18 books on Shakespeare and the modern playwrights.