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Stage Directing Theory
Directing Theory: pre-text, text and super-text

from Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art by Charles W. Cooper; Ronald Press, 1955
SCENES: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (excerpts)

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THE INTERIOR is dark. Faint light in the alley.

A deep-voiced bell in a church is toiling the hour of five as the scene commences.

TOM appears at the top of the alley. After each solemn boom of the bell in the tower, he shakes a little noise-maker or rattle as it to express the tiny spasm of man in contrast to the sustained power and dignity of the Almighty. This and the unsteadiness of his advance make it evident that he has been drinking.

As he climbs the few steps to the fire-escape landing light steals up inside. LAURAappears in night-dress, observing TOM'S empty bed in the front room.

TOM fishes in his pockets for door-key, removing a motley assortment of articles in the search, including a perfect shower of movie-ticket stubs and an empty bottle. At last he finds the key, but just as he is about to insert it, it slips from his fingers. He strikes a match and crouches below the door.

TOM [bitterly]. One crack--and it falls through!

[ LAURA opens the door.]

LAURA. Tom! Tom, what are you doing?

TOM. Looking for a door-key.

LAURA. Where have you been all this time?

TOM. I have been to the movies.

[ ... ]

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