Studying Plays is a comprehensive introduction to understanding plays which examines and explains the key elements of drama using classic and contemporary examples from King Lear to Shopping and F**king . The book first introduces you to how to read a play text and how to interpret stage directions. It then looks at character and persons, followed by dialogue, plot and action, the actor's body, spaces, and finally, culture and interpretations - writers, location, performers, audiences and interpretation. Also covered are props and costumes, theatre semiotics and the major critical approaches to drama. New to this third edition is a discussion of 'design-led text', an exploration of the 'post-dramatic' text using Crimp's Attempts on her Life and Kane's Crave to illustrate key points, and a section on 'in-yer-face' theatre with mention of Ravenhill and other major playwrights in this movement. Studying Plays includes thought-provoking exercises throughout to enhance your experience of interpreting play texts. A glossary defines essential words and phrases and two bibliographies list all plays discussed and useful secondary texts. This book is suitable for anyone studying Drama or English Literature and for the lay reader with an interest in better comprehending the specifically theatrical quality of plays.