Comic Theaters

Studies in Performance and Audience Response

Title Details

Pages: 208

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 05/01/2011

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3851-4

List Price: $25.95

Comic Theaters

Studies in Performance and Audience Response

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  • Description
  • Reviews

In Comic Theaters, William E. Gruber draws dramatic criticism beyond its traditional emphasis on the play’s text toward a theory of theater that more fully incorporates performance. The bare text is clothed in the cultural norms and conceptions of both actor and audience in performance; in the conversion of words into action; in the actor’s creation of his role; and in the audience’s involvement with the scenes on stage.

Reinterpreting six comedies taken from classical Greek, Renaissance, and modern repertories, Gruber shows how dramatic meaning is derived not from traditional criteria, archetypal motifs, or unchanging affective responses, but from changing concepts of theater and changing configurations of actor and role.

There can be no doubt that Gruber has admirably, with restraint, modesty, and considerable analytical skill and theatrical sensitivity, proved his principal point: comedy is no monolith, and humor is no unchanging trait or reflection of some eternal human verity.

Comparative Literature

Thorough, well-reasoned, and consistently challenging.


About the Author/Editor

WILLIAM E. GRUBER is a professor of English and adjunct professor of theater studies at Emory University. He is the author of Comic Theaters: Studies in Performance and Audience Response (Georgia), Offstage Space, Narrative, and the Theatre of the Imagination, and On All Sides Nowhere: Building a Life in Rural Idaho.