1st Edition

Words for the Theatre
Four Essays on the Dramatic Text

ISBN 9780367728052
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
82 Pages

USD $22.95

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Book Description

In Words for the Theatre, playwright David Cole pursues a course of dramaturgical self-questioning on the part of a playwright, centred on the act of playwriting.

The book’s four essays each offer a dramaturgical perspective on a different aspect of the playwright’s practice: How does the playwright juggle the transcriptive and prescriptive aspects of their activity? Does the ultimate performance of a playtext in fact represent something to which all writing aspires? Does the playwright’s process of withdrawing to create their text echo a similar process in the theatre more widely? Finally, how can the playwright counter theatre’s pervasive leaning towards the ‘mistake’ of realism?

Suited to playwrights, teachers, and higher-level students, this volume of essays offers reflections on the questions that confront every playwright, from an author well-versed in supplying words for the theatre.

Table of Contents

Preface: Words from a Playwright 


ESSAY I: The Dramatic Text As Transcript and Prescription  

ESSAY II: The Dramatic Text As Type of the Text  

ESSAY III: The Theatre Wants to Go In  

ESSAY IV: Theatre As an Event and Another Event; or, The Sorrows of Realism (Something like a manifesto)

Words for the Theatre 


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David Cole is a playwright who has written two prior books of dramatic theory: The Theatrical Event and the Nathan Award-winning Acting as Reading. His plays may be found at www.davidcoleplaysandprose.com.