Most introductory theatre textbooks are written for theatre majors and assume the student already has a considerable amount of knowledge on the subject. However, such textbooks may be counterproductive, because they reference several works that may be unfamiliar to students with limited exposure to theatre. Theatre as Human Action: An Introduction to Theatre Arts, Second Edition is designed for the college student who may be unacquainted with many plays and has seen a limited number of theatre productions. Focusing primarily on four plays, this textbook aims to inform the student about theatre arts, stimulate interest in the art form, lead to critical thinking about theatre, and prepare the student to be a more informed and critical theatregoer.
In addition to looking at both the theoretical and practical aspects of theatre arts—from the nature of theatre and drama to how it reflects society—the author also explains the processes that playwrights, actors, designers, directors, producers, and critics go through. The four plays central to this book are the tragedy Macbeth, the landmark African American drama A Raisin in the Sun, the contemporary rock musical Rent, and—new to this edition—the American comedy classic You Can*’*t Take It with You. At the beginning of the text, each play is described with plot synopses (and suggested video versions), and then these four representative works are referred to throughout the book.
This second edition also features revised chapters throughout, including expanded and updated material on the technical aspects of theatre, the role of the audience and critic,and the diversity of theatre today. Structured into nine chapters, each looking at a major area or artist—and concluding with the audience and the students themselves—the unique approach of Theatre as Human Action thoroughly addresses all of the major topics to be found in an introduction to theatre text.