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Theatrical Worlds

(30 reviews)

Charles Mitchell, University of Florida, Gainesville

Copyright Year: 2014

ISBN 13: 9781616101664

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Language: English

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Reviewed by Heidi Winters Vogel, Associate Professor of Theater, Wabash College on 12/31/21

The text covers theory, history, design, and performance (oddly enough, playwriting is missing). While it is comprehensive, not all areas are given appropriate weight. The Shakespeare section could be used alone for a course on Shakespeare but is... read more

Reviewed by Christina Allaback, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Director of Theatre, Umpqua Community College on 6/9/21

This is a comprehensive book, for the most part. The good thing about this book is that every chapter is written by a different person. So the costume designer writes the costume design chapter, and the set designer writes the set design... read more

Reviewed by Elizabeth Rapoza, Adjunct Faculty, Cape Cod Community College on 5/27/21

Unfortunately, this text jumps from subject to subject without giving clear, concise information. Instead of following a logical format, it starts to focus on one subject, only to reiterate something that has been gone over at length earlier.... read more

Reviewed by Donna Sorbello, Associate Professor, Bunker Hill Community College on 12/27/20, updated 1/6/21

This is a terrific, easy-to-read overview of various, significant aspects of theatre. In many instances, it goes into more depth than one would expect from a book wanting to cover so many categories. read more

Reviewed by Cady Garey, Lecturer, University of Virginia on 10/30/20

Text covers major areas of study and practice within the world of Theatre artistry. read more

Reviewed by Lilli Ann Linford-Foreman, Professor of Communication & Theatre, Central Oregon Community College on 6/23/20

This book is a decidedly mixed bag. It was published in 2014 as a 'beta' edition, so perhaps there were plans to edit and/or complete it, but as it stands it has no glossary and no index. The absence of those contents makes it much less user... read more

Reviewed by Robert St. Laurence, Adjunct Theatre Professor, Bunker Hill Community College on 6/23/20

The text touches on many subjects within the field of theatre, to the extent that it isn't clear what purpose this book serves. Due to it's broad range of subjects the depth is lacking, and the organization is at times questionable. read more

Reviewed by Christin Rills, Adjunct Professor, Bridgewater State University on 6/23/20

This textbook is somewhat comprehensive. It does a decent job of introducing and providing general information several aspects of theater, acting, directing, costuming, but leaves out other important parts, such as playwriting and dramaturgy. read more

Reviewed by Marisa Jones, Professor of Acting, Speech & World Theatre, Roxbury Community College on 6/16/20

"Theatrical Worlds" is the most comprehensive text available to professors interested in selecting an OER (Open Educational Resource) for their theatre courses. While the book offers a general overview of various topics, ranging from stage... read more

Reviewed by Edward Eaton, Instructor, Massachusetts Bay Community College on 6/16/20

The book touches on a lot of areas. However, some are not covered well. There appears to be an attempt at making some of the subjects discussed more relevant in terms of today's social and political movements at the expense of subjects that should... read more

Reviewed by Danielle Barry, Associate Adjunct Prof, Raritan Valley Community College on 4/13/20

See all comments in final comment. read more

Reviewed by Jeanne Tiehen, Assistant Professor, Susquehanna University on 3/10/20

Theatrical Worlds covers the necessary material that can be found in comparable introduction to theatre textbooks. Having used a variety of texts before in Intro courses, Theatrical Worlds addresses key terms and ideas, provides appropriate... read more

Reviewed by Carrie Colton, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 3/3/20

Overall, good. I wish theatre history had been broken down differently. It jumped around a lot. read more

Reviewed by Kelly Bremner, Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre, Emory and Henry College on 11/14/19

The topic is so vast.... but it does a solid job at covering the basics for an introductory student. I like how it is organized by profession. I am always looking for a book for this class that is organized this way, but find so few. read more

Reviewed by Carrie Winship, Assistant Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on 10/24/19

This text attempts to cover a wide range of topics at an introductory level. It succeeds in some areas of content: the introduction, as well as chapters on design, directing, and Shakespeare are particularly thorough. However, there are some... read more

Reviewed by Jennifer Popple, Assistant Professor , Augustana College on 7/31/19

The book has a strong (albeit lengthy) introduction, including the types of theatre and staging practices, as well as solid chapters on (some) aspects of design, world theatre, and the origins of musical theatre. While it does not have a glossary... read more

Reviewed by Gabriel Vanover, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Hanover College on 1/25/19

The book is very elementary in its coverage of theatrical practices, traditions, and technical processes, but also omits entire areas of the arts, including playwriting, dramaturgy and producing. read more

Reviewed by Christiana Molldrem Harkulich, Assistant Professor, Miami University of Ohio on 2/1/18

This text covers a wide range of subjects surrounding Theatre- acting, directing, design, and then Shakespeare, World Theatre, and Musical Theatre. It is a mix of Intro textbook and Theatre History textbook. The sections on Design (scenic,... read more

Reviewed by Catherine Schuler, Professor, University of Maryland, College Park on 2/1/18

The book includes three sections: Creating a World, Theatrical Production, and Special Topics. As one might expect in an intro text for non-majors, part two is the most comprehensive, probably because it best reflects the authors' primary... read more

Reviewed by Scott Walters, Professor of Drama, University of North Carolina at Asheville on 8/15/17

This is an interesting book in that it is somewhat of a hybrid -- a combination of an Introduction to Theatre book and a Theatre History book. It successfully covers all the major players in a theatre production while providing reasonably thorough... read more

Reviewed by Ken Parks, Associate Professor of Theatre, Randolph College on 8/15/17

There is a a wealth of information in this book and more detail in some sections than is commonly found in introductory texts. Yet it suffers from too little that pulls the separate discussions together to provide a comprehensive understanding of... read more

Reviewed by Tinamarie Ivey, Faculty, Linn Benton Community College on 6/20/17

This text is extremely helpful as a general resource and overview of theater. It is best for students who have little to no exposure to the arts and all the components that come together to create a production. It is also a good resource for... read more

Reviewed by Brad Stoller, Associate Professor, Piedmont Va Community College on 2/15/17

Though this book does cover a vast areas of theatre both in the west and other parts of the world it does not provide an index. read more

Reviewed by Noreen Barnes, Director of Graduate Studies, Theatre , Virginia Commonwealth University on 2/8/17

This text enters a very competitive market for introductory texts in Theatre. It is only partially comprehensive, as some aspects of theatrical production are omitted, or given short shrift, such as playwriting, producing and dramaturgy. A huge... read more

Reviewed by Matthew Weedman, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa on 2/8/17

The book is divided into three parts. Part One is "Creating a World" and is an overview of theatre from Greek Drama to present day productions. This section is an attempt to place theatre in a social and historical context. Part Two is... read more

Reviewed by David Mroden, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona on 2/8/17

This text covers a lot of ground; perhaps too much. It starts out as an overview of the theatrical process, examining the different areas of production, performance and design, then shifts to an exploration of Shakespeare throughout the past five... read more

Reviewed by Laszlo Fulop, Associate Professor, University of New Orleans on 2/8/17

The book takes a comprehensive look at theater. It starts out with an essay about the basic elements and qualities of theater, about meaning, etc. The sub-chapter about the origins of theater could have connected to a short historical overview.... read more

Reviewed by Eric Prince, Professor, Colorado State University on 12/5/16

The book is in need of an index and a glossary with key concepts and terms being clearly explained. No scholarly sources, references, footnotes, or works cited are listed. Attention to the relationship between text and image in conveying meaning... read more

Reviewed by Janet Allard, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro on 12/5/16

Theatrical Worlds covers an impressive number of ideas and areas, going into both the methods of individual theatre practitioners and the historical roots of the art of theatre. The beginning chapter of the book also explains the relevance of... read more

Reviewed by Brian Haimbach, Lead Theatre Faculty, Lane Community College on 1/7/16

The comprehensiveness of the textbook is admirable. Given the daunting task of covering all aspects of theatre, the book attempts to cover an impressive range of topics. Conspicuously absent are the dedicated Theatre History chapters that consume... read more

Table of Contents

Part One: Creating a World

  • 1 Mapping Reality: An Introduction to Theatre -Charlie Mitchell and Michelle Hayford

Part Two: Theatrical Production

  • 2 Acting - Charlie Mitchell
  • 3 Directing - Kevin Browne
  • 4 Set Design - Mark E. Mallett
  • 5 Costume Design - Stacey Galloway
  • 6 Lighting Design - Kasendra Djuren

Part Three: Special Topics

  • 7 Genre - Jim Davis
  • 8 The World of Shakespeare - Jeremy Fiebig
  • 9 The American Musical - Margaret R. Butler
  • 10 World Theatre - Michelle Hayford

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  • About the Book

    From the University of Florida College of Fine Arts, Charlie Mitchell and distinguished colleagues from across America present an introductory text for theatre and theoretical production. This book seeks to give insight into the people and processes that create theater. It does not strip away the feeling of magic but to add wonder for the artistry that make a production work well.

    About the Contributors


    Charlie Mitchell studied playwriting at Boston University with Nobel prize-winning author Derek Walcott. After earning a PhD from the University of Colorado, he was a production dramaturg for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and later for Playmakers Repertory, where he was a visiting professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For three years, he was an artistic associate and company member of the award-winning Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and has worked as an actor for a variety of theatres in New York City, Chicago, and Baltimore. Previously, he taught at Loyola University in Maryland. He completed his BFA actor training at Ithaca College.

    Dr. Mitchell is the author of Shakespeare and Public Execution, an examination of how Shakespeare utilized commonly known tropes of execution for his own dramaturgical ends and the co-editor of Zora Neale Hurston: Collected Plays, the first compilation of the Harlem Renaissance writer's dramatic pieces including two thought to be lost. Theatrical Worlds is the first open source introductory theatre textbook.

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