The necessity of theater: the art of watching and being watched

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Oxford University,
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What is unique and essential about theater? What separates it from other arts? Do we need "theater" in some fundamental way? The art of theater, as Paul Woodruff says in this elegant and unique book, is as necessary - and as powerful - as language itself. Defining theater broadly, including sporting events and social rituals, he treats traditional theater as only one possibility in an art that - at its most powerful - can change lives and (as some peoples believe) bring a divine presence to earth. The Necessity of Theater analyzes the unique power of theater by separating it into the twin arts of watching and being watched, practiced together in harmony by watchers and the watched. Whereas performers practice the art of being watched - making their actions worth watching, and paying attention to action, choice, plot, character, mimesis, and the sacredness of performance space - audiences practice the art of watching: paying close attention. A good audience is emotionally engaged as spectators; their engagement takes a form of empathy that can lead to a special kind of human wisdom. As Plato implied, theater cannot teach us transcendent truths, but it can teach us about ourselves. Characteristically thoughtful, probing, and original, Paul Woodruff makes the case for theater as a unique form of expression connected to our most human instincts. The Necessity of Theater should appeal to anyone seriously interested or involved in theater or performance more broadly.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 68ce37ab-fccc-85a6-3e52-3236333b0cc7
full_title necessity of theater the art of watching and being watched
author woodruff paul
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:19AM

Solr Details

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author Woodruff, Paul, 1943-
author-letter Woodruff, Paul,
author_additional Paul Woodruff.
author_display Woodruff, Paul
availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
available_at_arlington Shirlington
callnumber-a PN2039
callnumber-first P - Language and Literature
callnumber-subject PN - General Literature
callnumber_sort_arlington THTR 792.01 WOODR
collection_arlington Theater Collection
date_added 2011-01-26T05:00:00Z
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isbn 9780195332001
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itype_arlington Hardback
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local_callnumber_arlington THTR 792.01 WOODR
local_callnumber_exact_arlington THTR 792.01 WOODR
local_callnumber_left_arlington THTR 792.01 WOODR
local_days_since_added_arlington 2399
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oclc (OCoLC)162126835
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Shirlington
physical xiii, 257 p. ; 22 cm.
popularity 0
primary_isbn 9780195332001
publishDate 2008
publishDateSort 2008
publisher Oxford University,
rating 4
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record_details ils:.b12963148|Book|Books||English|Oxford University,|2008.|xiii, 257 p. ; 22 cm.
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subject_facet Gaze, Theater -- Philosophy, Theater -- Psychological aspects
table_of_contents Why we need theater -- The art of being watched -- Defining the art -- What theater makes -- Action worth watching: plot -- Staging choices -- People worth watching: characters -- Sacred space -- Mimesis -- II: The art of watching -- Emotion -- Empathy -- Laughter -- Understanding theater -- The mask of wisdom.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The necessity of theater : the art of watching and being watched
title_display The necessity of theater : the art of watching and being watched
title_full The necessity of theater : the art of watching and being watched / Paul Woodruff
title_short The necessity of theater :
title_sort necessity of theater the art of watching and being watched
title_sub the art of watching and being watched