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
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.