An Introduction to the World of Theater A friendly and practical guide to the stage, The Essentials of Theater will prepare actors and crew for their next show. Perfect for college students in theater programs, as well as community theater troupes, this book covers all the bases—from a brief history on theater over the centuries and basic terminology to tips on interpreting scripts, developing characters, and utilizing props. Lisa Mulcahy’s helpful explanations and examples take readers on a backstage tour, introducing the tasks and responsibilities of every participant: stage hands, sound designers, prop managers, and more. Special sections include:
A simple guide to completing your first production project
Worksheets and checklists to practice new skills
Interviews with theater critics, playwrights, and sound designers
Appendices with suggested readings, viewings, and resources for theater students
Through real-world examples and engaging activities, readers will explore every facet of the world of theater: acting, directing, playwriting, production, technical design, and more. Mulcahy even includes a chapter on innovative ways to use one’s theater education off-stage. A great resource for college theater programs and acting classes in general, The Essentials of Theater is an excellent introduction to the stage and all of its moving parts.
About the Author
Lisa Mulcahy is a theater teacher, director, performer, and multimedia writer. She was cowriter and stage director of the hit off-Broadway musical Renegade Sluts on Bikes and was directed by Edward Albee in his play Malcolm. She also studied playwriting with Mr. Albee at Brandeis University. She is an award-winning journalist whose articles have been published in such magazines as Stage Directions, Teaching Theatre, Marie Claire, Glamour, Redbook, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Parade, and Seventeen, and she is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Building the Successful Theater Company, Third Edition; A Life in Acting; An Actor's Guide: Your First Year in Hollywood, Fourth Edition; The Actor's Other Career Book; and Theater Festivals—all published by Allworth Press.
“In The Essentials of Theater, Mulcahy has created an exploded view of the various collaborative roles in theater that are indeed essential to creating theater as we know it in the modern world. It pulls back the curtain and opens the stage door, offering revealing insights for those new to the theater.” —Michael S. Eddy, editor-in-chief, Stage Directions magazine “Whether you’re a theater student or an educator, The Essentials of Theater by Lisa Mulcahy is a must-have resource in your toolbox! Comprehensive in detail and thorough in its scope of material, this book is not only a terrific primer for all theater professionals, regardless of what stage their career is at, but a fun read, full of great ideas for assignments and inspiration. If you need one theater book for your library, this should be it!” —Iris Dorbian, author of Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater and former editor-in-chief of Stage Directions magazine “The Essentials Of Theater, like a well-trained actor, projects far beyond the stage. Mulcahy beautifully lends an expert perspective on the origins, fundamentals, and craft of theater. In short, Mulcahy has channeled an inspiring guide for the curious beginner or the seasoned professional who seeks to reconnect with her or his thespian joy. I deeply enjoyed this book, and it came at a time when I most needed an artistic reboot. Lisa’s book is the magic of theater.” —Cooper Bates, creator and performer, Black When I Was a Boy