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In this indispensable companion to any theatre class in which scripts are read and interpreted, Pritner and Walters offer five sequential levels of reading designed to lead to a deep understanding of the text. Level one imagines the play as performed in front of an audience; level two examines the deep structure of the conflict; level three examines given circumstances and the type of relationship the play creates between the audience and the production; level four looks closely at characters' behavior and reactions to their given circumstances, surveys conflict in each scene, and encourages supplemental research about the play; finally, level five synthesizes the information acquired from the preceding levels.
Each chapter introduces a concept that is then explored by studying its application to The Glass Menagerie, chosen for both its accessibility and its complexity. Other plays discussed include works by Molire, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and August Wilson. End-of-chapter questions are applicable to any play.