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The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  17 reviews
WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT, BIRNAM WOOD COMES TO DUNSINANE HILL

The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy presents a profoundly original theory of drama that speaks to modern audiences living in an increasingly volatile world driven by artificial intelligence, gene editing, globalization, and mutual assured destruction ideologies. Tragedy, according to risk theatre, puts us face to f
...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published February 4th 2019 by FriesenPress
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Cavak
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anyone who has taken a story writing or screenplay class in America has likely come across The Hero With a Thousand Faces at some point. If not the exact book itself, then another author has often either borrowed quotes or elements of Campbell's classic hero's journey. Some teachers consider it inseparable to modern cinema and media; it's just about everywhere.

But if Campbell's ideas cause resistance—which is becoming a trend nowadays, in my personal experience at least—Wong's smooth model
...more
Reader Views
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (06/19)

In “The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy,” author Edwin Wong brings tragedy into the 21st century. Tragedy imitates reality. Yet in our modern times, tragedy no longer has the same impact that it used to have.

The last great tragedies were written a very long time ago. To help tragedy make a comeback, the author developed the risk theatre model of tragedy. This working model is to contain original material, while still having roots from tradition. Tr
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Conchita Serri
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had to re-read the "The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy" by Edwin Wong. It was too good. It is a delight to recreate the possible scenarios exposed by the author in a very original thematic treatment of theater that invites further discussion and analysis. It is also a compendium of high academic and cogent discourse, a complete high level 'theory' on how to model and perform stage plays. He couples it with almost a 'how-to' reference guide on how to produce compelling theater by presenting the ...more
Charlie
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you love literature--theater, film, novels, history, biography, opera, whatever--you need to read this extraordinary work.

Wong presents a new theory of tragedy, which contrasts those of Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, and others. The classic theory, outlined by Aristotle, states that the hero has a "tragic flaw" that causes him or her to make a "tragic mistake." But Wong argues that the hero might not in fact make a mistake; instead he or she makes a calculated risk that backfires.

Wong's approac
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Mike Routliffe
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tragedy scholar Edwin Wong has combined the elements of entertainment, hard work and the gamble into his kiln of language.

Adding the fire of his mind he has shaped a solid and aesthetically pleasing framework for the aspiring playwright or master dramatic wordsmith.

Wongs' Risk Theatre is a well thought out and flexible structure built with the intention of reviving tragic theatre of the past using modern allegories and scenarios. With his unique model, he poses that nothing worth anything can
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David Duncan
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading Edwin Wong's 'The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy 'and, although I was initially skeptical of his bold claim of an original theory of tragic drama, I was intrigued at the prospect of reading about this classicist's main belief. As I turned the pages his theory grew on me and I found myself both convinced and gripped by this new perspective on tragedy. His low- probability, high-consequence outcome theory does indeed resonate with the risk takers of today and I thorough ...more
Kendra
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
The idea the author promotes in this book is that dramatic tragedy always involves bets: Macbeth bets that killing Duncan will lead to Macbeths’s political ascension, for example. But while the theory is an interesting and potentially valuable one, the author never engages with the enormous body of existing scholarship on the tragedy or dramatic form. His lack of desire or ability to propose his theory in dialogue with theory is a serious failing of the book, and as such I can’t recommend it. Th ...more
Debbie
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I just finished reading The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected by Edwin Wong. The author introduces Wong's theory of Risk Theatre which is his updating of classical tragedy. Wong emphasizes that his main character usually has a lot at stake, be it his crown, position as a god or a military general. His risk is great but the rewards are even greater. The tragic cycle is complete when the hero goes all in or bets it all in order to achieve his goal. This book would ...more
Donald Connolly
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been dealing with theatre actively and academically for many years, and the idea of "tragedy" was wrapped in the mystique of motivations and nobility and flaws that put it out of reach for me as a playwright. This book strips away the mystique and makes the form available to me. Seeing risk as the fulcrum of the action clears my head and lets me see contemporary situations and conflicts in the light of risk and potential tragedy. Especially meaningful to me is the concept of 3 Forms of Trag ...more
Esther
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Edwin Wong has written a masterpiece. His writing his clear, extremely well-researched and presented in a very engaging manner. His risk theatre model captures the readers' imagination and is presented in a way that appeals to the academic and the layperson. It was a challenging, but worthwhile read. Highly recommend. Thank you to Goodreads Giveaway for a copy of the book.
Billy Buttons
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected
Author: Edwin Wong

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
Number of Readers: 17
Stats
Editing: 8/10
Writing Style: 7/10
Content: 9/10
Cover: 10/10
Of the 17 readers:
14 would read another book by this author.
17 thought the cover was good or excellent.
11 felt it was easy to follow.
14 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 12
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Patricia Goldstone
An original and invigorating read, with the provocative thesis that the gods of modern economics have replaced those of antiquity. Wong’s insights into the mechanics of tragedy-writing
provide a valuable counterpoint to more conventional schools of dramaturgy. I don’t necessarily agree with his contention that history always looks to the past, but found his discussion of writing history v. writing tragedy opened up new paths of thought.
Steve Romagnoli
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A most excellent and original work regarding tragedy from the perspective of risks and consequences and how it intersects and reflects within our rapidly evolving world. A book of insights that will be invaluable to theatre goers, writers, directors, actors or as an engaging college text. Highly recommended!
Bill Alliston
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Won this book through Goodreads. Not relevant to me but I passed it on to an actor friend who stated the material was "invaluable and relatable" to his profession. Thanks to the author, Edwin Wong, for offering a free copy through Goodreads.
Bruce
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent... somewhat of a modernised poetics (Aristotle)....recommend to thespian, philosopher, literary oriented, and lay....
Robin Rowland
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Innovative 21st century look at bringing classic tragedy (Greek and Elizabethan mainly) into the modern Chaotic universe.
Gabriel
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting and perceptive approach to analysing and understanding tragedy theatre. Let down by an entirely uninteresting section on money and exchange
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In 2018, Edwin Wong founded the Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Playwright Competition with Langham Court Theatre--one of the oldest and most respected theatres in Canada--to challenge conventional Aristotelian, Hegelian, and Nietzschean theories of tragedy. Visit https://risktheatre.com/ for details.

The centrepiece of the competition is Wong's book The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama,
...more

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