Looking for recent stagecraft textbooks

Colin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
I saw the thread title and thought I could help, but not on a two or three year publication cycle. That's ridiculous; your powers that be have fallen for publishing industry propaganda, and that's a real shame for affordability of learning. And publishers can't even deliver on that cycle for some subjects - I'm not aware of any stagecraft texts on a 2/3 year cycle. What kind of institution are you at? Maybe we can help you with a strategy for explaining why you need a longer cycle. For instance, you could ask publishers what they can offer every 2/3 years. They'll come up empty in this subject area.
 
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Playajackal

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Location
Bay Area, California
It's a community college, the state mandates that when we update our course descriptions we reference recent texts. Very annoying for a field as specialized as ours.



I saw the thread title and thought I could help, but not on a two or three year publication cycle. That's ridiculous; your powers that be have fallen for publishing industry propaganda, and that's a real shame for affordability of learning. And publishers can't even deliver on that cycle for some subjects - I'm not aware of any stagecraft texts on a 2/3 year cycle. What kind of institution are you at? Maybe we can help you with a strategy for explaining why you need a longer cycle. For instance, you could ask publishers what they can offer every 2/3 years. They'll come up empty in this subject area.
 

DrewE

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Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Location
Vermont
It's a community college, the state mandates that when we update our course descriptions we reference recent texts. Very annoying for a field as specialized as ours.
It's worse than annoying; it's utterly stupid, in my opinion, and not even in the best interests of students. It is most annoying to spend $50 or $100 or more for a textbook just to be told in a year that you must buy the next edition with no particular substantive changes (and, since your copy is now the old edition, get even less selling it back to the bookstore). In many cases, too, the policy would prevent using the best texts simply because they're not the newest texts; and that's about as anti-student as things come. Most fields don't change that quickly, whether or not they are specialized; a ten year old calculus text teaches the exact same mathematics as a two year old one (and a twenty-five year old one), with the main updates being ancillary sidebars such as biographies of famous, female, or minority mathematicians; updates to computer and calculator tools for solving problems; and such like things that my professors, at least, usually skipped over entirely as not important to the subject at hand.

What would happen if your submission kept the same good texts and truthfully stated that you could not find any adequate newer textbooks to reference? Is this a legal requirement established by statute, or a policy "requirement" of some bureaucracy, and if the latter is there any sort of escape to sanity?
 

ruinexplorer

Sherpa
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Fight Leukemia
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I can say, as an author, my publisher looks to a four year publishing cycle, if warranted. My book came out in 2017. Next year, the publisher will get recommendations from experts in the field to determine the need of a second edition. At that point, I will have about a year before the next edition is available. I hope that might help you when explaining to the administration about recent books.
 

Darin

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Location
Ohio
For my gen-ed Stagecraft course (i.e. 90% of the students are not theatre majors) I use "Technical Theatre for Non-Technical People" by Drew Campbell. The latest edition is 2016, but he seems to update it fairly regularly, so a new edition may be forthcoming soon.

I also use Stagecraft Fundamentals by Rita Kogler Carver. My edition is 2013, but it has sections on moving head LED fixtures, etc., so isn't completely out of date