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The Necessity of Theater – The Art of Watching and Being Watched - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched

Paul Woodruff


The Necessity of Theater examines the whole art of theater, which teaches us how best to watch and be watched, and is as necessary to human life as language. We practice the art of theater on the formal stage, but also in sports events, weddings, and ceremonies of all kinds. The book begins by defining the art in a broad way, so as to include as many kinds of theater as possible across world cultures. After defining theater, The Necessity of Theater examines in turn each of the main elements of its two main components: the art of watching and that of being watched. Performers prac ... More

Keywords: theater, art, audience, ceremonies, performance, plot, character, mimesis, empathy, wisdom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195332001
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332001.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Woodruff, author
University of Texas, Austin
Author Webpage