The Cambridge introduction to theatre directing.

By: Innes, Christopher.
Contributor(s): Shevtsova, Maria.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Cambridge introductions to literature.Publisher: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013Description: pages cm.ISBN: 9780521606226.Subject(s): Performing Arts | Theatrical producers and directors | Theatre-Production and direction-History-20th century | Theatre-Production and directionDDC classification: 792.02INN
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This Introduction is an exciting journey through the different styles of theatre that twentieth-century and contemporary directors have created. It discusses artistic and political values, rehearsal methods and the diverging relationships with actors, designers, other collaborators and audiences, and treatment of dramatic material. Offering a compelling analysis of theatrical practice, Christopher Innes and Maria Shevtsova explore the different rehearsal and staging principles and methods of such earlier groundbreaking figures as Stanislavsky, Meyerhold and Brecht, revising standard perspectives on their work. The authors analyse, as well, a diverse range of innovative contemporary directors, including Ariane Mnouchkine, Elizabeth LeCompte, Peter Sellars, Robert Wilson, Thomas Ostermeier and Oskaras Korsunovas, among many others. While tracing the different roots of directorial practices across time and space, and discussing their artistic, cultural and political significance, the authors provide key examples of the major directorial approaches and reveal comprehensive patterns in the craft of directing and the influence and collaborative relationships of directors.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction
  • 1 Traditional staging and the evolution of the director
  • 2 The rise of the modern director
  • 3 Directors of theatricality
  • 4 Epic theatre directors
  • 5 Total theatre: the director as auteur
  • 6 Directors of ensemble theatre
  • 7 Directors, collaboration and improvisation

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This history of directing and directors in Western theater is an eminently useful volume that should be a part of every serious theater library. The two opening chapters chart traditional staging practices from classical Greece through the rise of the modern director in the 19th century. The next four chapters group major directors through their stylistic approaches, which Innes (York Univ., Canada) and Shevtsova (Goldsmiths, Univ. of London, UK) label theatricality, epic, total, and ensemble; the last chapter looks at theaters specializing in collaboration and improvisation. Extensive profiles of individual directors are supplemented by sidebars detailing terminology (e.g., Gesamtkunstwerk), quotable quotes (Brecht's "Street Scene"), examples from director's books (Chekhov's text with Stanislavsky's directions), and URLs for video examples (Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream). As a study tasked with "unearthing the roots of the modern director," the volume necessarily focuses on the usual European suspects of the 19th and 20th centuries, but the authors do not neglect the new crop of high-profile directors from eastern Europe (Staniewski, Zubrzycki, Bral) nor North American superstars (Bel Geddes, Lepage, Sellars, Wilson, Wooster Group). The volume's notable omission (for lack of space), which the authors themselves decry, is Asian theater. Good illustrations, endnotes, select bibliography, and index. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers. M. S. LoMonaco Fairfield University