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Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers, 5th Edition by James Thomas

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CHAPTER 1

Action Analysis

The essence of drama lies in the inevitability of the unexpected.

Vsevelod Meyerhold

Why action analysis? In the Introduction we said that formalist analysis proceeds by gathering lots of detailed information from the play and then drawing general conclusions about the whole work. A systematic collection of close-ups to assemble at last the big picture. Because formalist analysis attempts to cover all the dramatic potentials of a play, it is time-consuming and thorough. This attention to detail almost guarantees its practical success. Unfortunately, attention to detail is also lengthy and loaded with fine points. In the middle of a project readers can become so involved in the details that at times they can lose sight ...

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