How to Read a Play
978-0-8021-3629-9 • $14.95 • Paperback • Aug. 1999
How to Read a Play is an introductory guide to the art of translating the printed page of a play or screenplay into dramatic mental images, and has been a classic among actors, directors and writers for the past twenty years. Now fully updated and revised, the book includes a chapter about how to read a screenplay, noting the intrinsic differences between a screenplay and a playscript, thus bringing this invaluable classic up to date with today’s developments.
How should we read stage directions? How can we imagine the theatrical impact of a sound effect? And of silence? What about the effect of colors, groupings, or relative positions on stage? Are characters sometimes saying something different from what their words imply? In the course answering these and many more questions, Hayman talks about the use of space, momentum, and suspense, the silence under the words, identity and character, irony and ambiguity, meaning and experience—in short, all the elements that give life to the printed page as much as a musical performance does to a printed score. How to Read a Play is an essential guidebook to the art of drama.