Philip Barry Writing Styles in The Philadelphia Story

Philip Barry
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Detailed stage directions are a very noticeable feature of The Philadelphia Story. There are three simple reasons for this. First, although the dialogue was strong in itself, it depends upon staging. Imprecise staging and inappropriate gestures detract from the impact of the dialogue.

Second, Barry was a consummate producer of plays: he understood much about stagecraft, and knew that if he wanted to replicate the success of one play all over the country, he had to give directors of amateur companies precise guidance.

Third, The Philadelphia Story is written realistically, and Barry worked hard to give the audience the impression that the action unfolding in front of their eyes was, indeed, an accurate representation of "the real thing."

Also, Barry's stage directions enable the actors to add nuance to their characterizations. For instance, when Mike strikes a match, Tracy offers him a light from her lighter. The...

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This section contains 354 words
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Drama for Students
The Philadelphia Story from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.