1st Edition

Why the Theatre In Personal Essays, College Teachers, Actors, Directors, and Playwrights Tell Why the Theatre Is So Vital to Them

Edited By Sidney Homan Copyright 2021
    220 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    Introduction: Why?

    Sidney Homan

    Part 1: The Creative Role of the Audience 

    1. Vouchsafe Me Audience

    Nick Hutchison 

    2. Training the Eye 

    S. P. Cerasano 

    3. Undeveloped Freight: Listening Together in the Playhouse 

    Robert Price 

    4. A Shakespeare Professor Becomes a Playgoer 

    Alan C. Dessen 

    5. Acting the Storm: Twenty Years of Tempests 

    June Schlueter 

    6. From Theatre to Classroom: Making Teaching Effective 

    Fred Kiefer 

    Part II: The Life of the Actor, Director, and Playwright in Performance 

    7. Why the Theatre? Breaking of the Fourth Wall

    Gary Lagden 

    8. Play, Devising, and the Creative Process 

    Brian Rhinehart 

    9. I Am Thrilled by an Impure Theatre 

    Sidney Homan 

    10. In the Nick: Theatre in and of Our Times 

    Jerry Harp 

    11. "The Play" May Not Be "The Thing"—But Something Is

    Erica Terpening-Romeo 

    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 

    Paul Menzer 

    Part III: When the Theatre Moves Beyond the Stage Into the Real World 

    14. Theatre for Health 

    Joanna Howarth 

    15. Why Make Theatre in the South Pacific? A Personal View of Theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand 

    David O’Donnell 

    16. Empathy Is Essential 

    Kristin Kundert  

    17. The Art of Failure

    Katherine McGerr 

    18. Why Teach Theatre? 

    Gina MacKenzie 

    19. Making Theatre Around the World, and What It Has Taught Me 

    Avra Sidiroupoulou 

    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 

    Ralf Remshardt 

    21. Theatre and the Digital Native 

    Donna Soto-Morettini 

    22. Remembering Dreams 

    Fran Teague 

    23. Theatrical Pleasure and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel 

    Joseph Candido 

    24. Yeat's "Lapis Lazuli" as Theatrum Mundi 

    Daniel T. O’Hara 

    25. Why (Not) Theatre? Stage, Screen, and Streaming in a Pandemic 

    Patrick Hart 

    26. Because 

    Cary M. Mazer 

    Epilogue: "Yeh, Boss"

    Sidney Homan


    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.