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Hay, Peter Theatrical Anecdotes ISBN 13: 9780195060782

Theatrical Anecdotes - Softcover

 
9780195060782: Theatrical Anecdotes
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The tradition of telling theatrical anecdotes extends back in time almost as far as the theater itself. For much of its 2,500-year history, the stage has housed real characters and real stories as fascinating as any created by a dramatist. Ranging from the age of Aristophanes to the time of Tennessee Williams, this book offers a motherlode of tales about backstage rivalries, thespian eccentricity, the parsimony of producers, and indignities suffered on tour.
We encounter Judith Anderson's unique method of working herself into a frenzy for her first entrance in Medea, deliberately provoking her co-star and arch-enemy, Florence Reed. We come across Oscar Wilde's own assessment of the first performance of Lady Windermere's Fan ("The play was a great success, but the audience was a total failure"). And we learn of Shakespeare's wild oats and why Molière's grave had to be dug an extra four feet deep. These delightfully overflowing pages present David Garrick, Sarah Bernhardt, Noël Coward, Donald Wolfit, Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Helen Hayes, and a cast of hundreds, along with directors, producers, critics, prompters, prop men, designers, and ghosts. Although the book brims with the glittering and the glamorous, Peter Hay does not neglect those legions of near-anonymous players and professionals, without whom the stars would not be stars and the theater could not exist.
Organized by topic, this richly entertaining and wonderfully edifying volume contains hundreds of tips for all theatrical professionals, directs scholars and students to a wealth of historical sources, and treats all lovers of theater to a feast of backstage secrets that will permanently enrich their appreciation of the art.

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About the Author:

About the Author:
Peter Hay, born in Budapest and educated at Oxford, has worked as dramaturge, critic, and editor in the Canadian and American theater. He now lives in Los Angeles where he has taught drama at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. His sixth and latest book, Broadway Anecdotes, is a companion to this volume.
From Library Journal:
This is a hodgepodge of humorous anecdotes, primarily from the British theater, loosely organized under such chapter headings as "The Ages of Acting," "Dramatists," and "On the Road." Some of the anecdotes are quoted directly from other sources, but many are paraphrased by Hay, often awkwardly. The original source of each anecdote is listed at the end of the book. A number of them have explanatory notes by Hay; others need notes. The lack of consistency in the narrative voice creates a choppiness of style that is annoying. Some of the anecdotes bring a chuckle, and there is a useful index, but overall this is not a necessary item. Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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  • PublisherOxford University Press
  • Publication date1989
  • ISBN 10 0195060784
  • ISBN 13 9780195060782
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages416
  • Rating

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195038187: Theatrical Anecdotes

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780195038187
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1987
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Random..., 1992
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9780517035726: Theatrical Anecdotes

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