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How to Read a Play


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Table of Contents

Forward by Anne Bogart


Lessons from the past


Konstantin Stanislavski

Vsevolod Meyerhold

Yevgeny Vakhtangov

Bertolt Brecht

Harold Clurman

A Survey of Current Practices

Digging into the Script on Your Own

Reading the Play for the First Time

Moving Past First Impressions

Going beyond the Words on the Page

Preparing for Design Meetings and Casting Sessions

Sharing your Read on the Play

Discovering the World of the Play

Getting to Know the Characters

Gearing up for Rehearsing with Actors

Grasping the Given Circumstances

Mapping the Action

Grappling with the Language

Reading a Play without a Script: Notes on Devising

What do you start with?

What are you analyzing?

What is a play?

Workbook Chapter

The First Steps in Preparation

Getting Ready to Talk to Designers

Getting Ready to Cast the Play

Getting Ready for Rehearsal

Checking Your Handle on Structure

A Final Gut Check


Character Biographies

French Scenes: List Version

French Scenes: Chart Version

Director Breakdown

Moment Chain Streetcar Punctuation Write Up The Tempest Punctuation Write Up


List of Interviews

Biographies of Interviewees


"Damon Kiely has written a book that is readable and helpful to everyone faced with the very particular challenges of reading plays. Clearly driven by his own curiosity, Kiely examines how talented theater professionals throughout history have found success and true gratification in reading scripts."

- Anne Bogart

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