Anton Chekhov

Rhonda Blair, Professor in the Division of Theatre at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, provides an overview of the life of Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov. Blair considers how Chekhov’s plays capture the complexity and richness of human experience, affirming his place as one of the most influential writers of European theatre.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Australian Theatre

Peta Tait, Professor of Theatre and Drama at La Trobe University in Melbourne, provides an introduction to Australian theatre. Referring to key practitioners who have impacted Australia’s theatrical landscape, Tait considers how explorations of Aboriginal culture and postcolonial concepts have developed into two distinctive modes of performance which incorporate aspects of Australia’s multicultural society in the 21st century.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Circus

Peta Tait, Professor of Theatre and Drama at La Trobe University, Melbourne, provides an introduction to the history, theory and practice of the circus. Referring to influential practitioners, significant female performers and contemporary circus companies, Tait considers how the circus continues to amaze audiences around the world with extraordinary physical stunts and evocative acrobatic action.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Pantomime

Robert Leach, Former Reader in Drama and Theatre at the University of Birmingham, provides an overview of British pantomime. Leach explores the form’s dramatic development, from the use of Commedia inspired characters and Harlequinade to the introduction of the Dame, and highlights how pantomime raises questions of gender, social stability and the problem of illusion and reality in theatre.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2018)

Russian Theatre

Robert Leach, Former Reader in Drama and Theatre at the University of Birmingham, provides an overview of Russian theatre. Covering history, theory and practice, Leach explores the various methods by some of Russia’s leading theatrical practitioners, such as Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vsevolod Meyerhold, and examines the development of realist and anti-realist theatre during the 20th century.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Practical Workshop Guide | Frankenstein

The aim of this Digital Theatre+ Practical Workshop Guide is to deepen and enrich understanding of the play as a blueprint for performance, encouraging the student to approach the material using the investigative and interpretive methods of the actor, director or voice coach.
Practical Guide
(2016)

A Doll's House

Digital Theatre+ Study Guides are specially commissioned from leading theatre academics and practitioners, with expert knowledge of the texts that they explore. The guides examine plays from literary and contextual, as well as dramatic perspectives, to provide a thorough and manifold access point to key texts, from the classical to the contemporary.
Study Guide
(2013)

A Doll's House

Plays Through Practice guides look at interpretative choices and include exercises for developing directing, design and acting skills, as well as full and clear background information. They also suggest, where necessary, preliminary practical work that can be undertaken before beginning work on the text.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide

About the Production: Far from the Madding Crowd

How do you take a 40,000 word classic novel and transform it into a piece for the stage? Join the director, writer, composer and actors as they reveal how they took Thomas Hardy's classic Far from the Madding Crowd and made it work on the stage.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Documentary
(2012)

Approaches to Unseen Text

Learning how to approach a previously unseen text can be a daunting task. This guide aims to give a thorough grounding in guiding students through the processes of recognition, understanding, evaluating and analysis of an unseen text, as well as practical approaches to getting creative responses down on paper in a clear and constructive manner.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide

Comedy

Comedy is, by its nature, highly contextual, it must constantly adapt to changes in the cultural milieu in which it works. Comedy also relies on newness and surprise more heavily than other art forms – some jokes just aren’t funny after the first or second time one hears them. As a result, new forms and styles emerge constantly, just as older forms fall out of favour and are abandoned.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2016)

Dramaturgy

In contemporary theatrical practice, “dramaturgy” can refer to either the structure, themes, goals, and conventions of a piece of dramatic literature, or to the aesthetic approach taken by a creative team to transform a script into a live performance. The dramaturg’s task is to consider how the artistic choices made by the creative team in the process of production might enhance the philosophical, political, or aesthetic goals of the event.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2016)

Henrik Ibsen - at a glance

Ibsen was born in 1828, into a wealthy family. Ibsen’s elder brother had died several weeks after his own birth. He was born into a house that was suffering a loss; in addition, the affluence that the family enjoyed soon disappeared. By the time Ibsen was six the family was bankrupt.
Biography

Konstantin Stanislavsky

Konstantin Sergeyevich Alekseyev, who took the stage name ‘Stanislavsky’, was a Russian actor and director who lived from 1863-1938. He is famous throughout the world today for the development of a method of training actors called the ‘System’ and because of the standards of performance established at the theatre he founded in 1897 with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, which became known as the Moscow Art Theatre (MAT).
Encyclopedia Entry
(2016)

Lady Windermere's Fan

Plays Through Practice guides look at interpretative choices and include exercises for developing directing, design and acting skills, as well as full and clear background information. They also suggest, where necessary, preliminary practical work that can be undertaken before beginning work on the text.
DramaWorks
(2015)
Practical Guide

Melodrama

Melodrama was the dominant dramatic form of the nineteenth century, c. 1810-1860, having grown out of Gothic drama. The French revolution’s iconic moment – the storming of the Bastille (1789) – provided Gothic drama with its most potent image: the castle as prison to be broken open. Melodrama repudiated literature: it was a genre of performance.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2016)

Stanislavsky Through Practice

Practical and clear introductions to key historical theatre practitioners, these texts demystify ideas and test theories through practical exercises. This guide: identifies the practitioner’s core aims; itemises the recognisable features of their style; applies the theories to texts; comprises a full term’s work.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide

Styletaster: Artaud, Grotowski, Stanislavsky

Stanislavsky arguably acts as a starting point for all classical practitioners, be it to springboard from or react against. The three practitioners introduced in this handbook are all concerned with the inner state of the actor, albeit to hugely varying effect. Whilst many practitioners focus on the medium of theatre and its role in society, Artaud, Grotowski and Stanislavsky are primarily interested in the actor’s personal journey.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide

Talking About Plays... The Government Inspector: An Interview with Roxana Silbert

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre, discusses Gogol's personal eccentricities, Tsar Nicholas I's surprising support for the work, and the difficulties present in translating a text across both time and language.
Talking About Plays
(2016)
Interview

Talking About Plays... Thérèse Raquin: An Interview with Dan Rebellato

Dan Rebellato, playwright and academic, discusses the narrative changes required for the story's consumption by a theatre audience, Zola's controversial position as a member of the emergent class of intellectual critics, and what the play's key moments tell us about 19th-century French society.
Talking About Plays
(2016)
Interview

Talking About Plays... Woyzeck: An Interview with Daniel Kramer

Daniel Kramer, director and Artistic Director of English National Opera, considers how the unfinished fragments of the text allow for multiple interpretations, explaining the choices made for his own 2004 production. In addition, he analyses how the male gaze informed the lead female's animalistic characterisation, discusses the value of sound in translation, and encourages those studying the text to interrogate their own situations in order to understand the work.
Talking About Plays
(2016)
Interview

The Seagull

Plays Through Practice guides look at interpretative choices and include exercises for developing directing, design and acting skills, as well as full and clear background information. They also suggest, where necessary, preliminary practical work that can be undertaken before beginning work on the text.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide

Theatre Historiography

Historiography is the study, not only of the historical record, but the process of writing history. Theatre historiography studies how histories of the theatre are constructed and also generates new histories. When we speak of “histories of the theatre,” we refer to the histories of performance practice as well as the body of plays, criticism, theory, dramaturgical writings, and other fragments that survive in archives or record books.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2016)

Thomas Hardy - at a glance

Thomas Hardy O.M. was born 2 June 1840 in Higher Bockhampton, in Dorset. His father was a stonemason and builder. His mother, Jemima, was a highly educated woman who was very well read, and she educated Thomas until he was eight as he was a frail child. He went on to a local private school. His family could not afford to send Thomas to university and he was apprenticed to an architect, James Hicks.
Biography

Three Sisters

Plays Through Practice guides look at interpretative choices and include exercises for developing directing, design and acting skills, as well as full and clear background information. They also suggest, where necessary, preliminary practical work that can be undertaken before beginning work on the text.
DramaWorks
(2016)
Practical Guide