A handbook for script work and directing in the theatre, Text and Context: The Operative Word is essential reading for post-secondary students and young directors in the theatre, as well as an effective resource for other disciplines, including actors, designers, and production personnel. Part 1: Text describes the method of text investigation that Greenblatt has developed and employed over his four-and-a-half decade career, including a variety of exercises. It is a highly pragmatic and non-academic approach to discovering the essence of a script in order to reveal its potential for interesting and unique interpretations. Part 2: Context explores the various ideas, philosophies and precepts Greenblatt uses when directing for the stage, following the order and rhythm of most rehearsal processes. It challenges misconceptions about the position of the director, and debunks traditional assumptions that are harmful to a truly creative and inclusive process. Part 3: New Text examines three genres of theatrical works: Theatre for Young Audiences, New Play Development, and Devised Work, which utilize the principles of text analysis and directing found in the first two parts.
Sprinkled with personal anecdotes, Text and Context: The Operative Word offers theatre practitioners techniques for communication and artistic collaboration, reimagines traditional hierarchical structures, and provides tools to create healthy, truly creative, highly productive, and more equitable processes of theatrical practice.
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About the Author
Richard Greenblatt was born and raised in Montreal and trained as an actor at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. He returned to Canada in the mid-70s and has been working as an actor, director, writer, musician and educator ever since. His work has taken him across the country, throughout the U.S., and in Europe and Japan. The vast majority of his extensive directing work has been with the development and premieres of original scripts, quite a few of which were for Theatre for Young Audiences. He has written and performed two solo shows (Soft Pedalling and Letters from Lehrer), co-authored two plays with Diane Flacks (Sibs and Care), and co-authored the immensely successful 2 Pianos 4 Hands with Ted Dykstra, which they performed almost 1,000 times and has been seen around the world in hundreds of other productions. He has directed and taught acting and directing at most of the top training institutions in Canada, and is the recipient of numerous Dora and Chalmers Awards. He lives in Toronto.