backwards and forwards david ball pdf

Backwards and forwards david ball pdf

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Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays

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This guide to playreading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather then 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 stageworthy. Using Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for illustrating script-reading techniques as well as examples of the kinds of misinterpretation readers can fall prey to by ignoring the craft of the playwright.

Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Backwards and Forwards by David Ball.

Michael Langham Foreword. This guide to playreading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather then 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 stag This guide to playreading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather then 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 stageworthy. Using Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for illustrating script-reading techniques as well as examples of the kinds of misinterpretation readers 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. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Backwards and Forwards , please sign up.

See 1 question about Backwards and Forwards…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. Sort order. May 08, Dave Logghe rated it it was amazing. This text is incredible. I've been reading plays for about 14 years now, so I kind of thought I had the process of script reading down pretty well, but this book has changed how I will read scripts, probably forever.

The concept of reading a play is simple, but Backwards and Forwards pinpoints very succinctly the elements to look for as a reader, especially when reading as an actor, director or designer. I got about two chapters in before I realized I needed to start highlighting key points.

I d This text is incredible. I don't normally do that unless it's required reading for a class. Which really, this should be, for all early-level acting courses. I can't wait to apply this to future readings of scripts, or even re-readings of scripts I read before reading this.

Feb 27, Alex rated it it was amazing. It is a bitter joke among my screenwriter friends that the way you get a TV show is that you create a truly interesting character, in a fascinating environment, whose family has complicated, fraught dynamics What is up with that guy? If Othello had been in his shoes, he'd have killed off Claudius in Act One, scene 2.

To be fair, if Hamlet had been in Othello's shoes, he'd It is a bitter joke among my screenwriter friends that the way you get a TV show is that you create a truly interesting character, in a fascinating environment, whose family has complicated, fraught dynamics To be fair, if Hamlet had been in Othello's shoes, he'd have laid a trap for Iago.

He makes the interesting point that to understand a play you have to read it, yep, backwards and forwards. Going forwards, anything can happen. Hamlet could find out his mother's married his uncle after his father died mysterious, and bugger off back to Wittenberg U. Hamlet could avoid the poisoned blade. Hamlet could turn out to have ingested small portions of the poison over years to render himself immune to it.

Only then can you understand how the play is constructed. And, in doing so, he makes a much more specific point. Hamlet is not at all indecisive -- once he knows that Claudius is guilty of murdering his father in Act Three. How so? Well, you see, in Elizabethan times, if you saw a ghost, you had no way of knowing if it was your father, as it appeared to be, or a vision sent by a witch or a devil.

Sure, the ghost says that Claudius murdered him. But maybe he's lying! So, for the first three acts, Hamlet is a detective. He adopts a pose of madness. He organizes a play for Claudius to watch about a nobleman who snatches a crown by murdering his brother -- and then he closely observes Claudius's reaction to it.

He gives a soliloquy about killing himself when he knows that Polonius is spying on him. It is not, in fact, a soliloquy! He is not indecisive. He does not know the facts. He very decisively seeks to get them. Shakespeare is a funny playwright for modern audiences and modern theatre companies. His language is some of the best poetry in English.

His plays, however, are not "poetic" at all. They are not "art plays. They have fast-moving plots, with twists and turns. And the damn things are well nigh bulletproof. If you put on a Shakespeare play as is, you have one difficult task: get the actors to understand what the hell it is they're trying to say, and then say it like that is the way they talk. If you can do that, the play will work. It will work in period costumes, it will work in modern dress, it will work with the city guards wearing Victorian bobby helmets, it will work when all the characters are women and Mercutio is mortally wounded with a butter knife.

If you can figure out what people are saying, it is not at all hard to figure out what is going on. Someone will quickly tell you, often three times. Richard III starts his play by telling you that he is a bad, bad man. On the other hand, if the actors don't know what they're saying, or think they're presenting poetry instead of people trying to get what they want by talking to other people, then it becomes a morass of poetic syllables.

Good poetic syllables, very good, very excellent good, and yet they are but so so, because but no one wants to sit through five acts of that. Shakespeare is also a funny playwright because his characters are so much more immediate and straightforward than most fictional characters in the intervening Victorian period, that we forget that he is a man from a different time.

When he puts witches in his play, he means witches. They're not a metaphor, they're not just a plot device, they're actual witches. Everyone knows witches are real! Likewise his father's ghost is not a plot device, it is a real conundrum true ghost? Hamlet's audiences were also extremely wary of the notion of killing kings, as we are not. Backwards and Forwards is a very short book, under a hundred pages, practically a pamphlet, so you have absolutely no excuse not to read it, whether you are a screenwriter or game designer, because it gets to the essence of what storytelling is.

Go on. You won't be sorry. Apr 12, Ryan S rated it liked it. It was fine. There are some good nuggets for playwrights and directors, usually summarized as the "focus" at the end of chapters. His hero worship of Hamlet as a text was, frankly, exhausting. I ended up rereading the play a few pages into this book just so I could understand all of his examples. Mostly it felt like a script analysis of Hamlet which wasn't really what I was looking for. I thought it was a book about script analysis and structure.

The writer honestly comes off as a pretty pretent It was fine.

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Wooah this is the most sought after at the moment, and the good news is that these two books are now available on our service, would you like to read them in full?? But before reading a little synopsis first, I will include it below This guide to playreading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather then 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 stageworthy. He includes guides for discovering what the playwright considers the play?


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F] Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays Full Pages Details Details Product: This guide to playreading for students and practitioners of both theater and literature complements, rather then 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 stageworthy. Using Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for illustrating script-reading techniques as well as examples of the kinds of misinterpretation readers 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.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

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1 comments

  • Deshawn M. 13.04.2021 at 01:55

    No book has more succinctly and pragmatically described how plays actually work than this one, and the worth of this book is proven by its ubiquity on the shelves of playwrights, dramaturgs, and teachers of dramatic literature.

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