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Dramatic Technique   By:

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In "Dramatic Technique" by George Pierce Baker, readers are given an insightful and comprehensive guide to the art of dramatic writing. Drawing on his years of experience as a playwright and instructor, Baker delves into the various elements that constitute successful drama, offering invaluable advice to aspiring writers and seasoned playwrights alike.

One of the most commendable aspects of this book is Baker's ability to break down complex concepts in an accessible and engaging manner. He seamlessly transitions from discussing the significance of plot structure to exploring the intricacies of character development, all while keeping readers engrossed with his illustrative examples and anecdotes.

Throughout the book, Baker emphasizes the importance of conflict as the driving force behind compelling drama. By dissecting different types of conflict and the ways in which they can be effectively portrayed on stage, he provides writers with a solid foundation for constructing narratives that captivate audiences.

Moreover, Baker's emphasis on the collaborative nature of theater is particularly noteworthy. He emphasizes the significance of establishing a strong rapport between playwrights, actors, directors, and designers, highlighting how this collaboration enriches the creative process and elevates the final production.

The inclusion of numerous exercises and writing prompts make this book an invaluable tool for aspiring playwrights. These exercises encourage readers to apply the techniques discussed in each chapter, allowing them to develop their skills and gain a practical understanding of the concepts presented.

Although "Dramatic Technique" was originally published in the early 20th century, its teachings remain relevant and applicable to contemporary playwrights. Baker's insights into the universal aspects of human experience and his exploration of timeless themes ensure the longevity of his lessons, bridging the gap between the past and present in the realm of dramatic writing.

In conclusion, George Pierce Baker's "Dramatic Technique" is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the art and craft of playwriting. Through his comprehensive exploration of dramatic elements, Baker equips readers with the tools necessary to create compelling and impactful works of theater. This book serves as a guiding light for both beginners and seasoned individuals within the realm of dramatic writing, making it an essential addition to any playwright's bookshelf.

First Page:




Professor of History and Technique of the Drama in Yale University

" A good play is certainly the most rational and the highest Entertainment that Human Invention can produce. "



Houghton Mifflin Company Boston · New York · Chicago · Dallas · San Francisco

The Riverside Press Cambridge

Copyright, 1919, by George Pierce Baker All Rights Reserved

The author acknowledges courteous permission to quote passages from copyright plays as credited to various authors and publishers in the footnotes.

The Riverside Press Cambridge · Massachusetts

Printed in the U.S.A.


"The dramatist is born, not made." This common saying grants the dramatist at least one experience of other artists, namely, birth, but seeks to deny him the instruction in art granted the architect, the painter, the sculptor, and the musician. Play readers and producers, however, seem not so sure of this distinction, for they are often heard saying: "The plays we receive divide into two classes: those competently written, but trite in subject and treatment; those in some way fresh and interesting, but so badly written that they cannot be produced." Some years ago, Mr. Savage, the manager, writing in The Bookman on "The United States of Playwrights," said: "In answer to the question, 'Do the great majority of these persons know anything at all of even the fundamentals of dramatic construction?' the managers and agents who read the manuscripts unanimously agree in the negative... Continue reading book >>

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