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The Dramatic Imagination: Reflections and Speculations on the Art of the Theatre, Reissue (Theatre Arts Book) 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0878301843
ISBN-10: 0878301844
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The Dramatic Imagination: Reflections and Speculations on the Art of the Theatre, Reissue (Theatre Arts Book) + The Empty Space: A Book About the Theatre: Deadly, Holy, Rough, Immediate
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Its easily my favorite book.
–Robert Cacioppo, Fort Myers (FL) News-Press

About the Author

The American scenic designer Robert Edmond Jones (1887-1954) studied with Max Reinhardt and worked with Eugene O'Neill and other playwrights.

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Product Details

  • Series: Theatre Arts Book
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (July 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878301844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878301843
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
my set design professor described this as the book to read when one is disillusioned with theater and need to restore faith, and I have to agree. It reminds us of the total art of theater, where poetry is expressed verbally, visually, and through the _presence_ of actors in a setting. It describes the curious not-reality that theater should create. It was written in 1941, so some of the references ring a little false and the language can wax florid, but the essence of what theater should be is described here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Benjamin on September 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply put, a must have for the library of anyone interested in theatrical design.

Robert Edmund Jones was the father of the New American Stagecraft and has, as such, influenced all scenic and lighting designers who followed - even if they are not aware of it!

As someone now entering his 20th year as a college prof, and around his 30th as a professional designer, I am constantly reinvigorated and enthused by the words of Jones. He reminds us of the importance of the arts in our society and why we do what we do.

A rough paraphrase from the book - "Do we carry visions of poetry with us as we shout directions to electricians on ladders? Yes."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Make Mine Mocha on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book attempts to define a philosophical approach to stage design, to describe the "why" that underscores the "how" of scenery, lighting, sound, costuming. It does not prescribe or describe practical application. The writing style is flowery and a bit to get over initially. Jones's ideas are interesting, if a few are a bit old-fashioned. However, everything old is new again, including theatre design, so the ideas that Jones presents about theatre design's purpose, meaning, and value are useful to consider. This is a book to reference when considering general design goals, or to glean beautifully worded phrases from for research or concept presentations that reveal and elevate the ART in the art of stage design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Griffith on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even all these many years later the lessons in this book are valuable. REJ was a pioneer and a visionary and this book helps us to understand what he envisioned for the theatre and hopefully to help us to achieve some of his ideas. I have read this book many, many times and I never tire of it or the ideas. If only we could get to this state in American Theatre..... This is a must read for any student of theatre.
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This book was recommended by a close friend who is a professional theater actor. I'm not a theater actor, nor do I study it, I am a theater enthusiast. I would always prefer a play over a movie. Thus, consider this a layman's review. Jones had enlightened me over an aspect of theater, that I admit, I normally overlooked: the background and stage. Typically, I'm focused on the actors' performance and story unfolding, and pay very little mind to the setting. I mean I would reference it for context of the dialogue, but it carries more of an importance than I originally thought. He also discusses the importance of costuming. This I definitely paid attention in my focus of the actors. The stage setting, the background, the lighting--he discusses their conception and construction quite...poetically. I read the book twice simply because I loved the way he spoke, and to research the plays he cited and worked on. It is a brilliant text that engages one to think dramatically, to think how to be true to context, and enhance the beauty of scenes or moments in life that we typically take for granted. Most layman's may not realize it, but the stage actually transcends the mood of the scene, the actors are secondary to that effect. Anyone who desires to succeed in stage design would make an effort to read this book.
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By M Bishop on May 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a theater educator and practitioner for almost thirty years, this little book has been highly influential in my career as a professional designer, teacher and director. Robert Edmond Jones, as others have said is the father, or grandfather, or great grandfather of American scene design. He worked at an amazing time in the theater, as new technologies (like electricity!) were being employed in theatrical production. His understanding of, and passion for, all that the theatre brings to life remains vital to this day. For the teachers out there, this book offers your students a glimpse into one of the geniuses of American Theatre whose words still ring true today. Buy it today and add it to your collection!
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Similar to The Empty Space by Peter Brook, I found The Dramatic Imagination to be an arrogant and pessimistic depiction of the flaws of modern theatre, with and ultimate conclusion that, if it isn't flawless theatre, it should be abandoned or thrown out the window.
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By James W. Wildman on December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank You... service and product was excellent! It is a book that I have had in my collection for many years and find copies for my students when they are learning to be theatre designers.
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