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Author Biet, Christian, author

Title What is the theatre? = Qu'est-ce que le théâtre? / Christian Biet and Christophe Triau ; translation, Jason Allen-Paisant ; with the collaboration of Joanne Brueton
Published Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2019
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Contents Cover; Half Title; Title Page; Copyright Page; Table of Contents; Notes on contributors; Cross section of the Opéra Garnier; Introduction; Points of view; The spectator; The author; The dramaturg; The director; The set designer; The stage manager; The actor; The readers; PART I: What does it mean to go to the theatre?; Together with others or one among many?; Theatre and performance; Chapter 1: Sites and spaces: definitions; Sites; The spaces; Text as site and text as space; Organising space through signs; The actor and their presence; Chapter 2: The theatrical space: a concrete space
PART III: How to act at the theatre? How the theatrical space functionsThe work of practitioners; Two senses out of five?; Chapter 7: Description and vocabulary of the traditional theatre site; A traditional stage; The fly system; The proscenium; The curtain; The proscenium arch; The stage; The cyclorama; The trap room; Chapter 8: Other stages, other apparatuses; Referential systems and innovations; Notes on bi-frontal staging; Chapter 9: The coordinates of the stage; A space more or less filled, more or less closed; Chapter 10: The technical and material elements of the staging space
Short digression: the amateur theatre in the contemporary momentA story of thresholds rather than of ruptures; Elizabethan theatre and the so-called "wooden O"; The "classic" French theatrical space: a rectangle; Italian-style theatre; Make way for the visible!; Scenography; Promoting attention; Chapter 5: The art of perspective and the social space; Italy, the "prince's eye" and Europe; The secularised space; The building and the session as spaces of socialisation; Line and circle: traditional double cone and multiple angles; Back to reality
The line and the circle: the depiction of infinity transcended by the infinity of wordsPlaces, spaces, two spectacles and the distance effect; Reforming theatre from the building out: from d'Aubignac to Luigi Riccoboni; The experience of the fourth wall: dramatic theatre; The closed space instituted by dramatic theatre; The crisis of drama; Chapter 6: Stage as place and stage as space; Rupture: the invention of the director, the total space of a total work; "Epic" theatre/dramatic theatre; The boundaries of the theatrical space; The dramatic space: a replica?
Theatre and urbanismThe open space; Locating the closed space; Recycling and re-appropriating buildings in the twentieth century; The evolution of places; Memory and repetition; Chapter 3: Architecture; The illusion of creating illusion; PART II: The evolution of material and representational spaces; Chapter 4: Some theatrical sites and spaces; The Greek skênographia; The scaena and the Roman spectacle; Medieval scenography: nowhere and everywhere; The scaffold theatre and the trestle stage: integrative function versus critical function
Summary What is the Theatre? is one of the most coherent and systematic descriptions and analyses of the theatre yet compiled. Theatre is, above all, spectacle. It is a fleeting performance, delivered by actors and intended for spectators. It is a work of the body, an exercise of voice and gesture addressed to an audience, most often in a specific location and with a unique setting. This entertainment event rests on the delivery of a thing promised and expected - a particular and unique performance witnessed by spectators who have come to the site of the performance for this very reason. To witness theatre is to take into account the performance, but it is also to take into account the printed text as readable object and a written proposition. In this book, Christian Biet and Christophe Triau focus on the practical, theoretical and historical positions that the spectator and the reader have had in relation to the locations that they frequent and the texts that they handle. They adopt two approaches: analysing the spectacle in its theatrical and historical context in an attempt to seek out the principles and paradigms of approaching the theatre experience on one hand, and analysing the dramaturgy of a production in order to establish lines of interpretation and how to read, represent and stage a text, on the other. This approach allows us to better understand the ties that link those who participate in the theatre to the practitioners who create theatrical entertainment
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Christian Biet is Professor of Performing Arts, Theatrical and Drama Aesthetics and French Studies, University of Paris-Nanterre and the Institut Universitaire de France. He is also a regular visiting professor at NYU, and a member of the editorial committee of the French theatrical review Thâeãatre/Public and of Littâeratures classiques. Recent books include Thâeãatre de la cruautâe et râecits sanglants (France XVIe-XVIIe siaëcle) [Theatre of Cruelty and Bloody Stories (France, from the End of the Sixteenth Century to the Beginning of the Seventeenth)] (2006), Tragâedies et râecits de martyres (France, fin XVIe-dâebut XVIIe siaëcle) [Tragedies and Martyrs' Tales (France, from the End of the Sixteenth Century to the Beginning of the Seventeenth)] with M.-M. Fragonard (2009) and Le Thâeãatre du XVIIe siaëcle [Seventeenth-Century Theatre] (2009). He has recently worked on several issues of Thâeãatre/Public including topics covering Chinese theatre, "Penser le Spectateur" ["Thinking About the Spectator"] (no. 208, May 2013); Flemish performance, "Carte Blanche aä Olivier Py" ["Carte Blance for Olivier Py"] (no. 213, June 2014); and repertory, "Le râepertoire aujourd'hui" ["Stock Theatre Today"] (no. 225, June 2017); and also an issue of Communications on the theoretical question of performance (no. 92, 2013). Christophe Triau is Professor of Theatrical Studies at the University of Paris-Nanterre. He also works as a dramaturge. His PhD was on seventeenth-century French theatre, and his work now focuses mostly on contemporary theatre, especially dramaturgy and aesthetics of stage direction. He has edited many collective publications and issues of reviews such as Alternatives thâeãatrales (and is a member of its editorial committee) and Thâeãatre/Public (in particular, the biannual "Etats de la scaëne actuelle" issues, in collaboration with O. Neveux) and has written widely about contemporary stage directors, most recently a book on Joel Pommerat's Cendrillon (2013)
Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on February 12, 2019)
Subject Theater.
Form Electronic book
Author Allen-Paisant, Jason, translator
Triau, Christophe, author
ISBN 0429437137 (electronic book)
9780429437137 (electronic book)
9780429793059 (Mobipocket ebook)
9780429793066 (ePub ebook)
9780429793073 (PDF ebook)
Other Titles Qu'est-ce que le théâtre?. English
Qu'est-ce que le théâtre?