Download e-book for kindle: The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being by Paul Woodruff

By Paul Woodruff

ISBN-10: 0195332008

ISBN-13: 9780195332001

What's specified and crucial approximately theater? What separates it from different arts? will we desire ''theater'' in a few primary method? The artwork of theater, as Paul Woodruff says during this based and special booklet, is as necessary--and as powerful--as language itself. Defining theater widely, together with sporting activities and social rituals, he treats conventional theater as just one hazard in an paintings that--at its such a lot powerful--can switch lives and (as a few peoples think) convey a divine presence to earth. The Necessity of Theater analyzes the original energy of theater via setting apart it into the dual arts of staring at and being watched, practiced jointly in concord through watchers and the watched. while performers perform the artwork of being watched--making their activities worthy looking at, and being attentive to motion, selection, plot, personality, mimesis, and the sacredness of functionality space--audiences perform the artwork of observing: paying shut consciousness. a great viewers is emotionally engaged as spectators; their engagement takes a sort of empathy that may result in a distinct form of human knowledge. As Plato implied, theater can't educate us transcendent truths, however it can train us approximately ourselves. routinely considerate, probing, and unique, Paul Woodruff makes the case for theater as a special type of expression hooked up to our such a lot human instincts. The Necessity of Theater should still entice someone heavily or keen on theater or functionality extra commonly.

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Besides, our concept of theater has soft edges; many things seem on the boundary between theater and other art forms. You may want to put movies into the category of theater and exclude football; I have reasons for wanting to do the reverse. You may make Shakespeare’s plays your main paradigm of theater, whereas I would admit his work only as one paradigm among others, some of which are non-European. Besides, part of my aim in defining theater is to support judgments of value, and the pure study of examples will not do that.

Rowdy college showings of cult flicks may have a similar effect. But these are anomalies. The patrons of the sports bar would jump at tickets to see the real thing. When we prefer theater to film, we have good reasons. Film and theater are not the same. 2 The Art of Theater Theater is the art by which human beings make or find human action worth watching, in a measured time and place. That is the bare beginning of a definition. It does not suffice as it stands, but it is enough to get started. Any work of theater is the product of other arts as well.

Indeed, no one knows exactly what the whole film will be until the final cut is made. But there is no cutting and splicing an actor’s performance on stage. In short, actors take over from the director in a performance on stage, developing their own relationship with their audience, but, in producing a film, the director and production staff take over from the actors. The line between film and theater is obscured by the practice of recording performances on film or video and transmitting them to large audiences, as now often occurs with opera and with sports events (which are a kind of improvisational theater).

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The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched by Paul Woodruff


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