ABSTRACT

This article discusses the problems and the possibilities involved in directing a Shaw play for community theater audiences and illustrates both from the author's experiences when he directed Arms and the Man for a community theater company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Those experiences reveal that some problems emerge from the difference between the typical expectations of community theater audiences for light entertainment and the challenging language and intellectual content of Shaw's plays. Other experiences suggest that often typical “working conditions” in community theater productions can present particular problems for the director attempting to stage a Shaw play. However, the author realized anew that Shaw built some advantages and some guidance for potential directors into his texts. These include the virtues of his prose and, frequently, the conjunction between the thrust of his ideas and the effectiveness of his dramatic strategy.

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