Lee A. Jacobus
(University of Connecticut)
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A comprehensive and well balanced selection of plays spans every major period of drama from classical times to the present. The collection includes in-depth treatment of Sophocles and Shakespeare, several American multicultural plays, strong representation of female playwrights with 12 plays by women, and the strongest selection of contemporary plays with eight plays that have premiered since 2000.
35 commentaries illuminate the plays and playwrights from the perspectives of reviewers, directors, and playwrights. Students’ understanding of the contexts from which plays emerge is further informed by two thematic casebooks comprised of documents, images, and commentaries focusing on specific topics such as production issues in Death of a Salesman.
A strong emphasis on plays in performance helps students understand historical developments in theater and their effects on interpretation. Each historical introduction discusses theater design, staging, and acting style, and each play introduction gives a brief history of the play in performance. Over 175 photographs and illustrations help students visualize the choices of actors, set designers, and directors.
Editorial features designed with students in mind include a succinct but thorough introduction to the history, genres, and elements of drama; an appendix on writing about drama with student models; and a helpful glossary.Helpful instructor resources can be downloaded for free from the Instructor Resource tab on the catalog page and include: a selected bibliography for each dramatic period and its playwrights, a list of suggested audiovisual resources, sample syllabi, additional assignment ideas, the full text of Anna Cora Mowatt’s Fashion for those instructors who want to assign a full-length American melodrama, and a cultural casebook on the Abbey Theatre and the Irish Literary Renaissance.
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