Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Louis Catron  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1932 in Springfield, Illinois

-- Louis Catron on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Louis Catron was born in Springfield, Ill. , and was educated at Millikin University and Southern Illinois University.

Biographical and Professional Information

During the Korean War, he served in the Navy. Prior to teaching, he held a variety of jobs. He enjoyed success as an actor, but felt he belonged in teaching theater.He joined William & Mary in 1966. In 1988 the Virginia Council of Higher Education awarded him the Outstanding Faculty Award, an annual honor given 12 professors. In 1972 and 1975 he was named an “Outstanding Educator of America.”A number of Prof. Catron’s students excelled as actors, directors, screenplay writers and authors. Perhaps best known are actress Glenn Close and novelist-screenwriter Karen Hall of “MASH” and “Hill Street Blues.”

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Playwriting: Writing Producing and Selling Your Play
ISBN: 0881335649

Waveland Pr Inc. 1990

A practical guidebook for effective playwriting! This imaginative and enthusiastic book is designed especially for those having the desire to create, to entertain, and to express their emotions and ideas. It features a practical, down-to- earth emphasis on craft and structure rather than on theory as its step-by-step approach shows just what's involved in creating a stageworthy play. Coverage includes basic considerations such as plot and character development, theme and dialogue as well as production and publication considerations. Outstanding features: offers concrete writing guidelines includes exercises that get the reader going and inspirational anecdotes presents excerpts from such classics as Macbeth, The Glass Menagerie, and The Dumb Waiter that help the reader grasp key concepts lists plays to read for instruction includes valuable information not usually found in comparable collections.

Overcoming directorial mental blocks about blocking

S. French. 1991

The Elements of Playwriting
ISBN: 157766227X

Waveland Pr Inc. 2001

For those interested in learning and honing the art and craft of creative playwriting! With an infectious enthusiasm for the theater, Catron presents the basic principles of playwriting, including plot, dialogue, and character development, as well as the more complex issues of creating multi-dimensional characters and writing stageworthy plays that will attract producers, directors, actors, and audiences. Throughout, he sprinkles examples from classical and modern plays, provides exercises for sharpening and developing skills, and offers practical guidelines on working with actors and directors, getting produced and published, and finding an agent. Favoring concrete advice over theory, The Elements of Playwriting is an invaluable resource for both beginning and advanced playwrights and for anyone involved in the art and craft of theater. Special features: 1) provides step-by-step techniques for improving a play 2) includes information about copyright, agents, organizations, and references and 3) offers end-of-chapter exercises for fine-tuning creative application of topics discussed.

The Power of One: The Solo Play for Playwrights, Actors, and Directors
ISBN: 1577666208

Waveland Pr Inc. 2009

The one-person play has a long and distinguished history, as well as being (a) one of the most economical forms of theatre and (b) a wonderful showcase for an actor, a playwright, and a director--especially when all three are the same person! Dean of American playwriting texts, Louis Catron offers an outstanding guide for playwrights, actors, and directors who are interested in working in this form. He demonstrates techniques of writing, acting, and directing that encourage the reader to create a personal theatrical experience, whether a full-length play or one as short as a one-act. Among the special qualities in the book are: discussions and illustrations of the actor/playwright collaboration important and helpful tips for solo play actors, directors, and playwrights and numerous examples of actual solo play scripts. The Power of One includes examples of actors who have written and performed their own one-person plays and carved out rewarding professional careers for themselves. Catron provides illustrations of those who have found the monodrama a remarkably gratifying experience--people like Patrick Stewart, Anna Deavere Smith, Lily Tomlin, Hal Holbrook, Jane Martin, and many more. Also in this book is a historical overview of the solo play that illustrates its long and distinguished history, material not found in other theatrical texts.

Also by Louis Catron and available from Waveland Press: The Director's Vision: Play Direction from Analysis to Production, (ISBN 9781577666769) The Elements of Playwriting (ISBN 9781577662273) and Playwriting: Writing, Producing, and Selling Your Play (ISBN 9781577665644).

Titles of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Crawford et al., Acting in Person and in Style, Fifth Edition (ISBN 9781577666646) Dean-Carra, Fundamentals of Play Directing, Fifth Edition (ISBN 9781577666486) and Patterson, Stage Directing: The First Experiences, 2E (ISBN 9781478615408).

The Director's Vision: Play Direction from Analysis to Production
ISBN: 1577666763

Waveland Pr Inc. 2010

The Director's Vision is a dynamic, practical text that focuses equally on the art of interpretation and on problem-solving. Catron helps students develop an organized, step-by-step methodology from play analysis through performance. Practical focus: Catron deftly combines abstract ideas about directing with concrete strategies on preparing for production, auditions, casting, and rehearsals. Comprehensive scope: Included are important topics such as in-depth play analysis, directorial responsibilities and ethics, leadership techniques, how to work with actors, and problem-solving. Exercises: End-of-chapter exercises help students digest what they ve read and get actively involved in the craft of directing. Quotes and illustrations: Thoughts from well-known directors, actors, and writers appear throughout the book, providing motivation, insight, and perspective. Abundant photographs and diagrams offer effective, dynamic examples of concepts.


I. INTRODUCTORY CONCEPTS 1. Developing Your Directorial Vision 2. The Director s Functions and Responsibilities II. PLAY ANALYSIS 3. Introduction to Play Analysis 4. Plot: How a Play Is Constructed 5. Character: The People of the Play 6. Thought: The Meaning of the Play 7. Diction: The Language of the Play 8. Music: The Sounds of a Play 9. Spectacle: The Visual Aspects of Production III. PREPARING FOR PRODUCTION 10. The Prompt Book 11. Auditions 12. Casting 13. Planning the Rehearsal Schedule IV. REHEARSING THE PRODUCTION 14. Working with Actors, Part One: Guidelines for Rehearsals 15. Working with Actors, Part Two: Developing Character 16. The Floor Plan 17. Blocking the Play, Part One: Principles 18. Blocking, Part Two: Techniques 19. Rhythm, Tempo, and Pace 20. Working with Actors, Part Three: Problem-Solving / Appendix A: Royalties, Permissions, and Play Publisher Leasing Agents / Appendix B: Names, Addresses, and Descriptions of Play Publisher Leasing Agents

Titles of related interest also from Waveland Press: Catron, The Power of One: The Solo Play for Playwrights, Actors, and Directors (ISBN 9781577666202) Dean-Carra, Fundamentals of Play Directing, Fifth Edition (ISBN 9781577666486) and Patterson, Stage Directing: The First Experiences, Second Edition (ISBN: 9781478615408).