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Doggy Bird

Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA Member Since 2001

doggybird

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  • "One of the best values on Audible!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, I have several Great Courses for which I paid full price from the Teaching Company - I love the courses and get a lot of pleasure out of listening to them. The value of being able to get Great Courses for one Audible Credit per course is ALONE worth an annual Audible subscription.

    Second, I think Robert Greenberg's Music Courses are terrific and really one of the best uses of the audio book format for university level lectures. You not only hear the discussion of the music but hear music samples as well which makes it far superior to books about music history which can't provide samples of the music discussed. Greenberg's choices of music to illustrate the points he make are always excellent and really make listening to these lectures an enormous pleasure. Like others have said elsewhere, he can be quite corny -if that bothers you this is not the professor you will want to hear. I find his energy and enthusiasm makes the course more interesting and his attempts at humor are rather endearing (it may be that people from New Jersey find corniness less offensive). I appreciate his attempts to liven things up even if some of the jokes are rather silly.

    Third, although I am not particularly knowledgeable about music the more I get to know opera the more I realize how very much I love Mozart's operas. It is true that Greenberg spends a lot of time on Cosi Fan Tutte as another listener noted. I didn't expect this to be exhaustive but rather Greenberg's own view of the most interesting aspects of Mozart's operas since it is still an introductory level course. For someone as prolific as Mozart it didn't surprise me that the professor made a selection based on his views. However, if you are expecting it to be exhaustive you will not be satisfied. Greenberg is very informative but selective, and with me that's OK.

    Lastly, some negative comments have been made on the lack of librettos included with the course - those librettos are not part of the more expensive versions of the course either. You have to get librettos on your own - there are no entire operas included in the course, only excerpts so I don't know why anyone would think a libretto would be needed to follow the lectures. Some of the complaints made by listeners are very picky considering the comparative value of getting these courses so cheaply on Audible.

    Very highly recommended.

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    The Operas of Mozart

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791 at the age of just 35, he nonetheless left behind the defining composition in every available musical genre of his time: symphony, chamber music, masses, and above all - opera. Opera was the prestige genre of the era, and the thought of it, Mozart wrote, made him, "beside myself at once." It was a form he loved dearly, depending on it heavily for personal, professional, artistic, and financial reasons of the greatest weight.

    Doggy Bird says: "One of the best values on Audible!"
  • "Fascinating story, unusual focus"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story focuses on 'netsuke', tiny Japanese carvings which were fashionable in Paris during La Belle Epoque. The narrative wanders among the lives of the family who owned a particular collection of netsuke through Paris, Vienna and Tokyo with a few stops in other cities for background. Because the family was one of the wealthy Jewish banking families of the late 19th century and early 20th century, the story of the 'netsuke' illuminates some of the significant political, economic and cultural trends in which the family was involved,. In particular the role of the first Effrusi owner of the 'bibelots' in the high culture of Paris at the turn of the century is examined in letters and novels of the period. The story then travels to the transformation of Vienna from the capital of a splendid empire to the forefront of National Socialism, and makes a stop in the postwar period in Japan. The role of the objects we own and value is examined from multiple planes, much like through different sides of a prism.

    I found the book very satisfying but found the performance frustrating at times. It was well read in terms of speed but the tone was at times overly dramatic. Also, the accent of the narrator was very pleasing and upper class (which matched the narrative) but he gets a bit carried away with the sound of his own voice and this sometimes distracted from the story. I have actually purchased a copy of the book because I would just like to read the story without the dramatic intonation. And despite sounding like he has an ear for languages, the narrator misprounounces a LOT of the foreign words, including 'netsuke'. If you listen to the podcast interview that follows the book, the pronunciation by the author and the interviewer makes it clear that it is mispronounced throughout the book. That was my only complaint with this recording. HIghly recommended book otherwise, especially for anyone interested in turn of the century culture and art.

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    The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (273)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
  • "Very short introductions to specifi..."

    Overall
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    I have recently developed a passion for opera that has found me attending an opera I know little about beforehand. A colleague in London got tickets for Don Giovanni and I decided my first visit to Covent Garden demanded a little investment in preparation ahead of time. This series from Naxos is just perfect to get you ready to attend an opera with a little bit of historical and musical context to make the experience richer.

    The recording is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes long. The narrator is good, he provides not only background for the specific opera in question but also for other operas by the same composer. Clips of the music are part of the 'explanation' - one of the nicest feature of audiobooks vs. reading a regular text.

    So, you get a summary of the story, some musical interludes and some historical and musical context - helpful to allow you to focus more attention on the music and the staging once you get to the opera.

    Highly recommended!

    More

    Don Giovanni: Opera Explained

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Thomson Smillie
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Don Giovanni has long been regarded as Mozart’s supreme theatrical achievement. The subject seems unpromising - the last day in the life of the notorious womanizer Don Juan - but the skill of the librettist allied to the genius of Mozart at the very peak of his powers has created a work which is not only highly entertaining but reflects an incredible understanding of the human condition.

    Doggy Bird says: "Very short introductions to specific operas!"
  1. The Operas of Mozart
  2. The Hare with Amber Eyes:...
  3. Don Giovanni: Opera Expla...
  4. .

A Peek at Trish's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
106
 
Virginia 89 REVIEWS / 268 ratings Member Since 2005 58 Followers / Following 5
 
Trish's greatest hits:
  • Jim Henson: The Biography

    "Excellent Biography!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only had a casual knowledge of Jim Henson--I associated him with Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Sesame Street, and Kermit, Miss Piggy and The Muppet Show characters. I now have a deep understanding and appreciation for this incredibly talented man.

    This book is very well researched and written. There is the same amount of care and detail spent on lesser known projects and events in Mr. Henson's life as there is on how the Sesame Street Muppets came to be. And it was all very interesting. The narrator was excellent as well--sounding very much like Jim Henson and Frank Oz when he was reading direct quotes.

    Jim Henson was a very creative and talented man, who worked very hard and continued to pursue his dream of entertaining people of all ages. He accomplished a lot--a lot more than I ever imagined--before his life was tragically cut short. This is a wonderful way to peek inside his world--Enjoy!!

  • Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

    "A Very Enjoyable Memoir!!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I put this audiobook into my Wishlist as soon as it was released, having enjoyed both authors’ movie and TV work for many years. However, I recently stumbled upon the movie “The Way”, starring Martin and directed by Emilio, and wondered if the title of the book referred to the movie, or simply to the journey of Life. It was the very next book I chose to listen to--

    This is a very good, dual memoir. It is very well written and narrated. There are more in-depth stories and anecdotes about the early years, and it speeds through the later years, but it was interesting enough to hold my attention throughout. I love how the book progresses with Martin and Emilio writing/reading alternate chapters—and sometimes we have an overlap where both father and son relate the same story, usually from quite different perspectives, of course! It really did keep me interested and amused.

    Anecdotes about the movie “The Way” are included throughout this book. It ties many father/son experiences, philosophies, etc. together at various points. Since I enjoyed this movie so much, I was glad it was a part of the book. I highly recommend this memoir, and even more, the movie “The Way”. I'm very glad I found them both--

  • I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High

    "Very Interesting!!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book and was very glad I listened to it. It is not Tony Danza's memoir--it is the story of his one-year experience teaching in Philadelphia's largest high school.

    It is written with humor, and narrated very well by Tony. It was a tougher-than-expected experience for him, and a real eye-opener. Good for him--and thanks for sharing with the rest of us!!

  • All My Life: A Memoir

    "Very Entertaining!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Susan Lucci's memoir is a very enjoyable listen!

    I must admit--I am a fan from way back in the beginning years of All My Children, so I certainly knew bits and pieces of her story. But what a well-written and beautifully read book--I was truly surprised! She seems to be a lovely lady with a beautiful family, and I will always remember this memoir fondly and wish her well.

Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 10-29-13 Member Since 2005
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  • "Light on gossip, rich on context"

    14 of 15 helpful votes

    I took a long time listening to this because I didn't want it to end. I also wanted to listen to the music chronologically as Jonathan Gould worked his way through each album and single; so I kept taking breaks from the audiobook to catch up on the songs.

    The Beatles are THE band for me and always have been, since my brother and I took the bus into Richmond in 1964 to see the first run of "Hard Day's Night." I won't go so far as to say this is THE book about the group, but it's a fine one, and is well narrated by Richard Aspel. To the standard question, would you read / listen to another book by this writer / narrator - yes, definitely, on both counts.

    It's not the most gossipy book about the Beatles. Gould doesn't have any ground-breaking new research or exclusive interviews to offer. What he has, in abundance, are two things: a rich sense of the political and cultural context in which the Beatles' career took place; and a detailed analysis, musical and lyrical, of every released single and every track on every album. His discussions of the songs are what impelled me to go back and listen to them yet again, this time with a handful of specific things to listen for in each one. (I didn't always understand the terminology Gould uses: at one point, he refers to "the elemental subdominant cadent in A-major" - at least I think that's what he said - but his descriptions are more often concrete and illuminating than over-my-head baffling.)

    Gould sets the Beatles firmly against the backdrop of Elvis, Les Paul, Brian Wilson, the Stones, Dylan, and the Goon Show on the one hand; and Vietnam, assassinations, student rebellions, the Prague Spring, the Chicago riots, the Profumo affair, and the political rivalry of Edward Heath and Harold Wilson on the other. If you didn't live through those times, the book will give you a better sense of the wider world than any other Beatles book I know. If you did live through those times, it will remind you of how glorious (and sometimes gloriously awful) they were. Woodstock makes an appearance, even though the Beatles didn't show up there: they were putting the finishing touches on the "Abbey Road" album. But Woodstock was an important part of the cultural background; it's impossible to understand the Beatles' place in popular culture without taking it into account.

    I haven't listened to all the Beatles-related audiobooks on Audible. Of the ones I have listened to, the only one in the same league is the book by Bob Spitz - unfortunately only available here in abridged format. (The Hunter Davies account is on my list, but even though it has a 1996 update, it's mainly focused on the period ending in 1968.) Until someone offers Spitz unabridged, or Philip Norman's Shout!, or Hunter Davies writes a fuller account of the later years, this is the audiobook I would recommend to anyone wanting an introduction to the history of the band. Gould presents the story with admirable objectivity; it's obvious that the band, and the band's music, fascinate him; but he's willing to call baloney when he sees it, and some of the Beatles tracks, especially as he moves into the troubled territory of The White Album and the Let It Be sessions, come in for particularly harsh criticism. ("Shapeless" and "gormless" are two of the adjectives employed in Gould's discussion of one of the tracks on the White Album. "A parody of a travesty" is his verdict on another.)

    The only thing that could make the audiobook better, in my opinion, would be an edition that integrates the songs themselves into the narrative. But you can always do that on your own, like I did.

    More

    Can't Buy Me Love

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Gould
    • Narrated By Richard Aspel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Nearly 20 years in the making, Can't Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. Here Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise.

    Tad Davis says: "Light on gossip, rich on context"

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    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
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    marcus says: "It Starts coming Together"
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    Great Masters: Mozart - His Life and Music

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    Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.

    eddie says: "TRUTH ABOUT AMADEUS"
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    Ludwig van Beethoven is justifiably acclaimed as one of the most revered composers in the history of Western music-a genius once characterized as a "Titan, wrestling with the gods." There is no better way for you to understand the full impact of that description than to not only listen to all nine of his magnificent symphonies, but to do so with a full understanding of what this great composer was saying and the circumstances that drove him up to and beyond what had once been considered the limits of musical expression.

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    The concerto offers a kind of unique excitement no other instrumental music can match. Where a symphony enthralls us with its thematic variations and development, a concerto gives us human drama-the exhilaration of a soloist or group of soloists ringing forth against the mass of the orchestra.In 24 musically rich lectures, Professor Greenberg provides a guided tour of the concerto, from its conception as a child of Renaissance ideals, through its maturation in the Classical age, its metamorphosis in the Romantic era, and its radical transformation in the 20th century and beyond.

    Victoria says: "Better than "How to Listen to...Great Music!""
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    The String Quartets of Beethoven

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    In this musically rich 24-lecture series, Professor Greenberg guides you in a deep encounter with these majestic works of art, offering you the rare opportunity to grasp the musical riches and spiritual greatness of the quartets in a clear and accessible way. Each of these lectures is a rare and life-enriching opportunity to know the scope of Beethoven's genius, his most unforgettable music, and the profound humanity and beauty that live through them.

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    Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
  • Seriously...I'm Kidding (






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    Seriously...I'm Kidding

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    "I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?" (Ellen DeGeneres)

    Julie says: "Not so much."
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    OpenMindedNotCredulous says: "On the need to acknowledge the role luck plays"
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    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

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    Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.

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    Shelly says: "Need tissues for this one"
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    With a career spanning more than five decades, few actors are more qualified to recount the glamorous Hollywood era of the late 1940s and early 1950s than Robert Wagner. You Must Remember This is Wagner’s ode to a bygone age, to its incomparable style and how it was displayed, and to its legendary stars.

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    Game of Thrones fans watch in delight as the epic battle of Lannister and Stark entangles the Seven Kingdoms. But only the sharpest notice how these houses echo Lancaster and York in the War of the Roses. Druids, Catholics, and even Zoroastrians wander through Westeros, reframing their religions for a new world of fantasy. But how medieval is Westeros? Did lady knights and pirates really battle across Europe? The audiobook Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones explores all this and more, from the echoes of history to the symbols and omens our beloved characters.

    andrew says: "Good short listen, about GOT"
  • Social Media in the Classroom: A Discussion with Dr. Rick Sheridan  by Dr. Rick Sheridan Narrated by Dr. Rick Sheridan

    Social Media in the Classroom: A Discussion with Dr. Rick Sheridan

    • ORIGINAL (34 mins)
    • By Dr. Rick Sheridan
    • Narrated By Dr. Rick Sheridan
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    In this 30-minute interview, Dr. Rick Sheridan, a longtime university professor and author of the book Social Media in the Classroom, helps teachers understand why using social media in the classroom is so important, and the effective ways to use it. Topics include: Why is social media use in the classroom so valuable for both teachers and students. Ways to promote cultural understanding. Developing an online portfolio. What can students and teachers do to protect their privacy online.

  • Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio] (






UNABRIDGED) by Amber Richards Narrated by Anne-Sophie Marie

    Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio]

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Amber Richards
    • Narrated By Anne-Sophie Marie
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    Comment installer un studio photographique est un e-Book qui décrit en détails des sujets liés à l'organisation d'un studio photo dans le confort de votre maison. Il renferme des informations sur la façon d'utiliser l'éclairage continu en studio, comment utiliser la lumière stroboscopique pour la photographie ou encore maîtriser des techniques qui permettent aux utilisateurs de contrôler la lumière comme ils l'entendent.

  • Rose-Marie [Russian Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Rudolf Friml Narrated by L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, M. Golovnya, V. Otdelenov, S. Anikeyev, A. Tikhonov

    Rose-Marie [Russian Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Rudolf Friml
    • Narrated By L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, and others
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    Na ljubov' glavnoj geroini pretendujut dvoe: bogatyj i porochnyj gospodin Avlej, u kotorogo rabotaet ee brat, i molodoj kovboj i zolotoiskatel' Dzhim. Roz-Mari otvechaet vzaimnost'ju Dzhimu, no ego obvinjajut v ubijstve. Chtoby spasti ljubimogo, devushka soglashaetsja na brak s Avleem. Kovboi, indejcy, zlodei, intrigi, ubijstvo, ljubov', vernost', chest' i spravedlivost', a takzhe more krasivoj muzyki.

  • The Gypsy Virtuoso [Russian Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Imre Kalman Narrated by G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov

    The Gypsy Virtuoso [Russian Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Imre Kalman
    • Narrated By G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov
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    Dom Pali Racha, izvestnogo skripacha i rukovoditelja cyganskogo orkestra. Kogda podnimaetsja zanaves, Pali sozhaleet ob ushedshej molodosti, v to vremja kak ego starshaja doch' Sari nakryvaet stol dlja bol'shoj sem'i (u Pali 16 detej). Pali zabotit sud'ba syna Lachi, tozhe skripacha, predpochitajushhego odnako cyganskim melodijam «ser'eznuju» muzyku. Pali opasaetsja, chto synu dlja uspeha nedostaet talanta.

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  • Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father  by Patricia L. Lawrence Narrated by J. D. Streeter

    Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father

    • ORIGINAL (28 mins)
    • By Patricia L. Lawrence
    • Narrated By J. D. Streeter
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    Thomas Steinbeck, son of famed writer and Pulitzer Prize recipient John Steinbeck, sits down with Patricia Lawrence for a casual conversation about his life; his published short stories, Down to a Soundless Sea; fictional accounts of life around Monterey Bay California...and his father!

  • The Hustons (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Grobel Narrated by David Drummond

    The Hustons

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lawrence Grobel
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    When John Huston died at 81 on August 28, 1987, America lost a towering figure in movie history. The director of such classic films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Prizzi's Honor, and The Dead, John Huston evoked passionate responses from everyone he encountered. He was at the center of a dynasty, with three generations of Oscar winners (Walter, John and Anjelica).

  • Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Mark Chemers Narrated by Brian E. Smith

    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Mark Chemers
    • Narrated By Brian E. Smith
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    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy offers useful and entertaining answers to the confounding question: "What, exactly, is dramaturgy, and what does a dramaturg do?" According to Michael Mark Chemers, dramaturgs are the scientists of the theater world - their primary responsibility is to query the creative possibilities in every step of the production process, from play selection to costume design, and then research the various options and find ways to transform that knowledge into useful ideas.

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