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Backwards & Forwards

A Technical Manual for Reading Plays
Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Self Development, How-To
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This guide to play reading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather than contradicts or repeats, traditional methods of literary analysis of scripts.

Ball developed his method during his work as Literary Director at the Guthrie Theater, building his guide on the crafts playwrights of every period and style use to make their plays stage worthy. The audiobook is full of tools for students and practitioners to use as they investigate plot, character, theme, exposition, imagery, motivation/obstacle/conflict, theatricality, and the other crucial parts of the superstructure of a play. He includes guides for discovering what the playwright considers the play's most important elements, thus permitting interpretation based on the foundation of the play rather than its details.

Using Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for illustrating script-reading techniques as well as examples of the kinds of misinterpretation listeners can fall prey to by ignoring the craft of the playwright. Of immense utility to those who want to put plays on the stage (actors, directors, designers, production specialists) Backwards and Forwards is also a fine playwriting manual because the structures it describes are the primary tools of the playwright.

©1983 The Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"In fewer than 100 pages, this marvelously instructive book shows how to unlock the secrets of plot, character, theme, exposition, imagery, motivation, conflict, theatricality and pacing... Our editor says he learned more about dramatic structure in the few hours he spent with this 96-page book than he has in his 20 years of theater experience." ( Stage Directions)
"Ball wrote [ Backwards and Forwards] to help people who put on plays understand how a play works... He argues that scripts represent a special kind of writing - because it is writing meant to be staged, not read - and thus requires special reading techniques; these techniques are what he offers." ( Dramatics)

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GET IT ✨✨✨

The audiobook information is amazing is should be the first things you should hear if u wanna start filmmaking or theatrical experience.

Play it on 1.25x speed

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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THE book to really learn Hamlet

So you're directing Hamlet? Do you want to do a good job? Read this book.

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Brilliant Basics for Beginners & important reminders for pros

Love it! This book is a must read for anyone considering directing a play. But It would be a valuable tool for playwrights, designers and actors.

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A must

Profound yet simple and direct ! Gave me lots of 'Aha' moments.A must for actors ,directors and storytellers