Foundations: the nature of theatre; performance, audience, and critic; the playscript. Varieties of the theatrical experience: festival theatre - Greek, Roman, and Medieval theatre experiences; creating a professional theatre - Elizabethan England, Italian Commedia dell'Arte, and 17th-Century France; from melodrama to realism; the modernist temperament 1890-1940; reevaluation, decentralization, and subsidization; contemporary diversity; world drama and theatre. Theatrical production: theatrical space and production design; playwriting and dramaturgy; directing and producing; acting; scenic design; costume design and makeup; lighting and sound design.
"THE ESSENTIAL THEATRE provided a far more comprehensive survey of theatre history as well as a precise review of the major artists in theatre production. (The text) does a wonderful job of applying historical precedents to current practice."