Comic Theaters
Studies in Performance and Audience Response

William E. Gruber


“There can be no doubt that Gruber has admirably, with restraint, modesty, and considerable analytical skill and theatrical sensitivity, proved his principal point: comedy is no monolith, and humor is no unchanging trait or reflection of some eternal human verity.”
Comparative Literature

“Thorough, well-reasoned, and consistently challenging.”

In Comic Theaters, William E. Gruber draws dramatic criticism beyond its traditional emphasis on the play’s text toward a theory of theater that more fully incorporates performance. The bare text is clothed in the cultural norms and conceptions of both actor and audience in performance; in the conversion of words into action; in the actor’s creation of his role; and in the audience’s involvement with the scenes on stage.

Page count: 208 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $24.95

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William E. Gruber is professor of English and adjunct professor of theater studies at Emory University. He is the author of Offstage Space, Narrative, and the Theatre of the Imagination; Missing Persons: Essays on Character and Characterization in Modern Drama (Georgia); and On All Sides Nowhere: Building a Life in Rural Idaho.