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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Working Together in Theatre

Collaboration and Leadership

ISBN 9780230239814
Publication Date December 2010
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Robert Cohen draws on fifty years of acting, directing and teaching experience in order to illustrate how the world's great theatre artists combine collaboration with leadership at all levels, from a production's conception to its final performance. This book challenges the notion that creating brilliant theatrical productions requires tyrannical directors or temperamental designers. Viewing the theatrical production process from the perspectives of the producer, director, playwright, actor, designer, stage manager, dramaturg and crew person, Cohen provides the techniques, exercises and language that promote successful collaborative skills in the theatre.

Collaboration is vital to successful theatre making and Working Together in Theatre is the first book to show how leadership and collaboration can be combined to make every theatrical production far greater than the sum of its many parts.

ROBERT COHEN is the Founding Chair of the Drama Department at the University of California, USA, where he now serves as Claire Trevor Professor of Drama. He is also a longtime professional theatre director, playwright and drama critic. He is author of the defining text Acting Power, and many other theatre books including Acting One, Advanced Acting, Acting in Shakespeare and Creative Play Direction. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Introduction: Family Theatres/Theatre Families
Collaboration and Leadership
Ensemble and Hierarchy
The Preparation Stage
The Planning Stage
The Production Stage
The Presenting Stage
Tones of Communications


With experience from 50 years of interplay among students and professionals, Cohen brings real-world success stories to the discussion, providing practical advice to actors, directors, playwrights, producers, designers, and the like.' – J. Artman, Chapman University, USA
'If you want to be effective as a working professional in theatre or in business, read this book.' – Caryn Desai, Founding and Managing Director of the International City Theatre, California, USA
'Working Together is what all of us in the theatre do every day of our professional lives. Whether you're studying to become a professional or an early-career pro who wants to rise quickly, this book will be invaluable. Read it, learn from it, and you'll find yourself working together with your collaborators to make great theatre.' – Tom Markus, Director, Actor, Author, Playwright, Translator, Dramaturg and Educator
'I am in awe of the breadth of relationships covered and the interesting details contained within this book. The overall effect is a text that covers nearly all possible theatrical collaborators in a broad spectrum of examples that are both historical and personal.' – Rob Roznowski, Professor of Acting and Directing, Michigan State University, USA
'Working Together in Theatre is written in a conversational tone and will be easily accessible to theatre students (those who plan to be directors or arts administrators in particular), as well as to those already working in professional theatres ... The book is likely to be most handy for those seeking practical, real-world advice about how to communicate with members of the creative team as they navigate a career in professional theatre.' – Claire Canavan, Theatre Topics
'Author Robert Cohen explores teamwork among directors, designers, actors and dramaturgs in Working Together in Theatre: Collaboration and Leadership. Drawing on a wide range of examples from historical and contemporary practice (and his own experience), Cohen presents practical ideas to achieve productive partnerships and effective communication at every level. Discussion topics are included for group consideration, but the book can also be read ­ and enjoyed ­ on its own.' – Stage Directions
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