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The Necessity of TheaterThe Art of Watching and Being Watched$
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Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195332001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332001.001.0001

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Action Worth Watching: Plot

Action Worth Watching: Plot

Chapter:
(p.63) THREE Action Worth Watching: Plot
Source:
The Necessity of Theater
Author(s):

Paul Woodruff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332001.003.0005

Live pornography and football games belong to theater, but they are defective in plot, because their action is not worth watching for the time that they take. An audience may lose interest in the game if it is one-sided; and audience members may lose interest in pornography if they are with attractive partners. Good theater has a plot that sustains audience attention to the end; indeed, plot is the element in theater that defines the time that a piece of theater takes by setting the end point. The definition of theater that is the central hypothesis of this book supports such judgments of value. Plot is a structure of actions; actions are events proceeding from human choice. Passive events are less engaging than active ones, with the result that the art of theater aims to show that its characters are making active choices and not simply being swept along by events.

Keywords:   pornography, football games, action, event, plot, value

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