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The information in this guide is to help you get started on your course assignments in Theatre History. There is much more available, but needs to be searched with a specific topic in mind. For this reason, use the materials in this guide as a starting point. Then, make an appointment with me to help you tailor a search for your specific assignment.
Theatre History Studies
The History of Theatre by
Publication Date: 2015-07-15
This comprehensive guide to the theatre's history covers theatre arts around the globe, including ancient Eastern arts like Kabuki and more modern ones such as Bollywood. This book goes back to what we know from our earliest ancestors by examining ancient artifacts and ancient texts to find out how theatre was influenced by life and how it in turn influenced the culture of the people who came to enjoy it. The book concludes with a look at modern theatre and its current heyday as entertainment for the masses, especially in places like Broadway in New York City.
Representing the Past by
Publication Date: 2010-10-28
How do historians represent the past? How do theatre historians represent performance events? The fifteen challenging essays in Representing the Past: Essays in Performance Historiography focus on the fundamental epistemological conditions and procedures that serve as the foundational ideas that guide all historians in their endeavors. Unified by their investigations into how best to understand and then represent the past, this diverse group of scholars in the field of theatre history and performance studies offers insights into the abiding issues that all historians face in the task of representing human events and actions. Five primary ideas provide the topics as well as the intellectual parameters for this book: archive, time, space, identity, and narrative. Taking these as the conceptual framework for historical research and analysis, the essayists cover an expansive range of case studies and problems in the historical study of performance from the Americas to Africa and from Europe to India and China. Considering not only how historians think about these concepts in their research and writing but more pointedly—and historiographically—how they think with them, the essayists demonstrate the power and centrality of each of these five ideas in historical scholarship from initial research to the writing of essays and books.
Speaking in Tongues by
Publication Date: 2009-08-07
Speaking in Tongues presents a unique account of how language has been employed in the theatre, not simply as a means of communication but also as a stylistic and formal device, and for a number of cultural and political operations. The use of multiple languages in the contemporary theatre is in part a reflection of a more globalized culture, but it also calls attention to how the mixing of language has always been an important part of the functioning of theatre. The book begins by investigating various'levels'of language-high and low style, prose and poetry-and the ways in which these have been used historically to mark social positions and relationships. It next considers some of the political and historical implications of dialogue theatre, as well as theatre that literally employs several languages, from classical Greek examples to the postmodern era. Carlson treats with special attention the theatre of the postcolonial world, and especially the triangulation of the local language, the national language, and the colonial language, drawing on examples of theatre in the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Finally, Carlson considers the layering of languages in the theatre, such as the use of supertitles or simultaneous signing. Speaking in Tongues draws important social and political conclusions about the role of language in cultural power, making a vital contribution to the fields of theatre and performance. Marvin Carlson is Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of Performance: A Critical Introduction; Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present; and The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine, among many other books.
Theatre History Studies
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Theatre History Studies (THS) is a peer-reviewed journal of theatre history and scholarship published annually since 1981 by the Mid-America Theatre Conference. Devoted to research and excellence in all areas of theatre history. The official journal of the Mid-American Theatre Conference has provided critical, analytical, and descriptive articles on all aspects of theatre history.
Women's Intercultural Performance by
Publication Date: 2000-09-08
This is the first in-depth examination of contemporary intercultural performance by women around the world. Contemporary feminist performance is explored in the contexts of current intercultural practices, theories and debates. Holledge and Tompkins provide ways of thinking about and analysing contemporary performance and representations of the performing, female, culturally-marked body. The book includes discussions of: • ritual performance by women from Central Australia and Korea • the cultural exchange of A Doll's House and Antigone • plays from Algeria, South Africa and Ghana • the work of the Takarazuka revue company • the market forces that govern the distribution of women and women's performance. This is an essential read for anyone studying or interested in women's performance.
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A Century of South African Theatre by
Publication Date: 2019-11-28
“Theatre is not part of our vocabulary”: Sipho Sepamla's provocation in 1981, the year of famous anti-apartheid play Woza Albert!, prompts the response, yes indeed, it is. A Century of South African Theatre demonstrates the impact of theatre and other performances-pageants, concerts, sketches, workshops, and performance art-over the last hundred years. Its coverage includes African responses to pro-British pageants celebrating white Union in 1910, such as the Emancipation Centenary of the abolition of British colonial slavery in 1934 organized by Griffiths Motsieloa and HIE Dhlomo, through anti-apartheid testimonial theatre by Athol Fugard, Maishe Maponya, Gcina Mhlophe, and many others, right up to the present dramatization of state capture, inequality and state violence in today's unevenly democratic society, where government has promised much but delivered little. Building on Loren Kruger's personal observations of forty years as well as her published research, A Century of South African Theatre provides theoretical coordinates from institution to public sphere to syncretism in performance in order to highlight South Africa's changing engagement with the world from the days of Empire, through the apartheid era to the multi-lateral and multi-lingual networks of the 21st century. The final chapters use the Constitution's injunction to improve wellbeing as a prompt to examine the dramaturgy of new problems, especially AIDS and domestic violence, as well as the better known performances in and around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Evolution of Opera Theatre in the Middle East and North Africa by
Publication Date: 2019
This book is the first structured and complete research work undertaken on opera theatres across the entire Middle East and North Africa. Until now, no single study has looked at every theatrical and musical institute in these countries. Many of the opera theatres that are examined here have had very little written about them at all. This work fills this void in order to provide scholars and practitioners in the sector with the first reference work on the subject that will help our understanding of the evolutionary process that has led—and continues to lead—all the countries in the MENA region to equip themselves with an opera theatre.
A History of Theatre in Africa by
Publication Date: 2004-05-13
This book aims to offer a broad history of theatre in Africa. The roots of African theatre are ancient and complex and lie in areas of community festival, seasonal rhythm and religious ritual, as well as in the work of popular entertainers and storytellers. Since the 1950s, in a movement that has paralleled the political emancipation of so much of the continent, there has also grown a theatre that comments back from the colonized world to the world of the colonists and explores its own cultural, political and linguistic identity. A History of Theatre in Africa offers a comprehensive, yet accessible, account of this long and varied chronicle, written by a team of scholars in the field. Chapters include an examination of the concepts of'history'and'theatre'; North Africa; Francophone theatre; Anglophone West Africa; East Africa; Southern Africa; Lusophone African theatre; Mauritius and Reunion; and the African diaspora.
Trickster Theatre by
Publication Date: 2015-06-22
Trickster Theatre traces the changing social significance of national theatre in Ghana from its rise as an idealistic state project from the time of independence to its reinvention in recent electronic, market-oriented genres. Jesse Weaver Shipley presents portraits of many key figures in Ghanaian theatre and examines how Akan trickster tales were adapted as the basis of a modern national theatre. This performance style tied Accra's evolving urban identity to rural origins and to Pan-African liberation politics. Contradictions emerge, however, when the ideal Ghanaian citizen is a mythic hustler who stands at the crossroads between personal desires and collective obligations. Shipley examines the interplay between on-stage action and off-stage events to show how trickster theatre shapes an evolving urban world.
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Edo Kabuki in Transition : From the Worlds of the Samurai to the Vengeful Female Ghost by
Publication Date: 2016-04-26
Satoko Shimazaki revisits three centuries of kabuki theater, reframing it as a key player in the formation of an early modern urban identity in Edo Japan and exploring the process that resulted in its re-creation in Tokyo as a national theatrical tradition. The author explores in detail the process by which nineteenth-century playwrights began dismantling the Edo tradition of 'presenting the past' by abandoning their long-standing reliance on the sekai. She then reveals how, in the 1920s, a new generation of kabuki playwrights, critics, and scholars reinvented the form again,'textualizing' kabuki so that it could be pressed into service as a guarantor of national identity.
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
Kabuki is well known for its exaggerated acting, flamboyant costumes and makeup, and unnatural storylines. The onnagata, usually male actors who perform the roles of women, have been an important aspect of kabuki since its beginnings in the 17th century. In a “labyrinth” of gendering, the practice of men playing women's roles has affected the manifestations of femininity in Japanese society. In this case study of how gender has been defined and redefined through the centuries, Maki Isaka examines how the onnagata's theatrical gender “impersonation” has shaped the concept and mechanisms of femininity and gender construction in Japan.
Sukeroku's Double Identity by
Publication Date: 1982-01-01
The aim of this book is to show that seemingly illogical double identity of the townsman, Sukeroku, and the samurai, Soga Goro, in the play Sukeroku is a surviving element of what was once a complex and coherent structure based on a traditional performance calendar. To show how the calendar function and what Sukeroku's double identity signifies, the book is divided into two parts. Part One studies the structure of Edo kabuki. The first chapter, which outlines that structure, is based for the most part on writings of the Tokugawa period. The second chapter then looks at the concepts of sekai,'tradition,'and shuko,'innovation.'Kabuki was the product of material that had become a familiar part of Japanese culture by repeated use and dramatization over long periods of time, starting before kabuki began, and material that was relatively new and was used to transform the older, set material. The double identity in Sukeroku came about as a result of this interplay between what was received by way of traditional and what was added by way of innovation. Part Two considers the significance of the double identity. The author concludes that Sukeroku's double identity gave Edo audiences a hero who was an idealization of the contemporary Tokugawa townsman and at the same time a transformation of a samurai god-hero of the past. The first chapter of Part Two traces the development of Sukeroku's Soga Goro/samurai identity, from its origins in the early dramatic forms of no, kowaka, and ko-joruri, to the representation of Soga Goro in kabuki by Ichikawa Danjuro I. The seconds then looks at the transformation of Soga Gorointo Sukeroku by discussing the origins of Sukeroku and its introductions to Edo kabuki by Ichikawa Danjuro I and his son, Danjuro II, since their work was the basis of all later developments.
Drama in the People's Republic of China by
Publication Date: 1987-07-01
This is the first book ever published in the West on drama in the People's Republic of China. The plays, playwrights, theories, and performances range from the play that inflamed the Cultural Revolution to a post-Mao satiric drama that upset party leaders; from Jiang Qing's drama theory for her model plays to the discovery of Bertolt Brecht; from the problems and dilemmas that confront theater reform in the post-Mao era to the performance of Ibsen's Peer Gynt and Viennese operettas; and from a historical play glorifying Mao's supremacy to a playwright calling for individualism and women's rights. This book not only depicts aspects of drama in the People's Republic of China, it also provides analyses of the political and social conditions that shaped and are represented in this drama.Constantine Tung is Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Colin MacKerras is Foundation Professor in the School of Modern Asian Studies, Griffith University, Australia.
Click here for a full list of available eBooks on Theatre History in China
Click here for a full list of available eBooks on Theatre History in Japan
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A Cultural History of the Bushranger Legend in Theatres and Cinemas, 1828-2017 by
Publication Date: 2019-01-31
A Cultural History of the Bushranger Legend in Theatres and Cinemas, 1828–2017'is a multidisciplinary investigation into the history of cultural representations of the bushranger legend on the stage and screen, charting that history from its origins in colonial theatre works performed while bushrangers still roamed Australia's bush to contemporary Australian cinema. It considers the influences of industrial, political and social disruptions on these representations as well as their contributions to those disruptions. The cultural history recounted in this book provides not only an insight into the role of popular narrative representations of bushrangers in the development and reflection of Australian character, but also a detailed case study of the specific mechanisms at work in the symbiosis between a nation's values and its creative production.
Transfigured Stages by
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Transfigured Stages: Major Practitioners and Theatre Aesthetics in Australia captures the excitement of a key period in the emergence of postdramatic theatre in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s. It is the first book to discuss work by The Sydney Front (1986 – 1993) and Open City (1987 –), and engages contemporary cultural and aesthetic theory to analyse performances by these artists, as well as theatre productions by Jenny Kemp and others. These performance practitioners are considered as part of an international paradigm attesting to forms of theatre that no longer operate according to the established principles of drama. This book also highlights the complexity of Indigenous theatre through its analysis of the Mudrooroo-Müller project staged in 1996.
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Nineteenth-Century Theatre and the Imperial Encounter by
Publication Date: 2011-05-09
In this study, Gould argues that it was in the imperial capital's theatrical venues that the public was put into contact with the places and peoples of empire. Plays and similar forms of spectacle offered Victorian audiences the illusion of unmediated access to the imperial periphery; separated from the action by only the thin shadow of the proscenium arch, theatrical audiences observed cross-cultural contact in action. But without narrative direction of the sort found in novels and travelogues, theatregoers were left to their own interpretive devices, making imperial drama both a powerful and yet uncertain site for the transmission of official imperial ideologies. Nineteenth-century playwrights fed the public's interest in Britain's Empire by producing a wide variety of plays set in colonial locales: India, Australia, and--to a lesser extent--Africa. These plays recreated the battles that consolidated Britain's hold on overseas territories, dramatically depicted western humanitarian intervention in indigenous cultural practices, celebrated images of imperial supremacy, and occasionally criticized the sexual and material excesses that accompanied the processes of empire-building. An active participant in the real-world drama of empire, the Victorian theatre produced popular images that reflected, interrogated, and reinforced imperial policy. Indeed, it was largely through plays and spectacles that the British public vicariously encountered the sights and sounds of the distant imperial periphery. Empire as it was seen on stage was empire as it was popularly known: the repetitions of character types, plot scenarios, and thematic concerns helped forge an idea of empire that, though largely imaginary, entertained, informed, and molded the theatre-going British public.
A Primer in Theatre History by
Publication Date: 2012-12-14
A Primer in Theatre History covers productions, personalities, theories, innovations, and plays from ancient Greece to the Spanish Golden Age. Grange discusses theatre from 534 BC in Athens to 1681 AD in Madrid. The book contains highly informative chapters on theatre culture in the ancient classical world, the medieval period, the Italian Renaissance, classical Asia, German-speaking Europe, France to 1658, and England to 1642.
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American Theatre by
Publication Date: 2011-10-11
Argues for the recognition of American theatre history as long, rich, diverse and critically compelling.Embracing all epochs of theatre history, from pre-colonial Native American performance rituals and the endeavours of early colonisers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, to the end of the twentieth century, Theresa Saxon situates American theatre as a lively, dynamic and diverse arena. She considers the implications of political manoeuvrings, economics - state-funding and commercial enterprises - race and gender, as well as material factors such as technology, riot and fire, as major forces in determining the structure of America's playhouses and productions. She goes on to investigate critical understandings of the term'theatre,'and assesses ways in which the various values of commerce, entertainment, education and dramatic production have informed the definition of theatre throughout America's history.
Honouring the Strength of Indian Women by
Publication Date: 2019-05-10
This critical edition delivers a unique and comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Vera was at the forefront of residential school writing and did groundbreaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of Canada's Indian residential schools, Vera Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing. She became a grassroots leader addressing the need to bring to light the stories of survivors, their journeys of healing, and the therapeutic value of writing and performing arts. A collaboration by four Indigenous writers and scholars steeped in values of Indigenous ethics and editing practices, the volume features Manuel's most famous play,'Strength of Indian Women'—first performed in 1992 and still one of the most important literary works to deal with the trauma of residential schools—along with an assemblage of plays, written between the late 1980s until Manuel's untimely passing in 2010, that were performed but never before published. The volume also includes three previously unpublished short stories written in 1988, poetry written over three decades in a variety of venues, and a 1987 college essay that draws on family and community interviews on the effects of residential schools
Indigenous North American Drama by
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
Responding to an increasing need for critical perspectives and methodologies, this collection traces the historical dimensions of Native North American drama through overviews of major developments, individual playwrights'perspectives, and in-depth critical analyses. Bringing together writers and scholars from the United States, Canada, and Europe, Indigenous North American Drama provides the first comprehensive outline of this vibrant genre. It also acknowledges the wide diversity of styles and perspectives that have helped shape contemporary Native North American theater itself. This interdisciplinary introduction offers a basis for new readings of Native American and First Nations literature at large.
Working in the Wings by
Publication Date: 2015-04-27
Theatre has long been an art form of subterfuge and concealment. Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor brings attention to what goes on behind the scenes, challenging, and revising our understanding of work, theatre, and history. Essays consider a range of historic moments and geographic locations—from African Americans'performance of the cakewalk in Florida's resort hotels during the Gilded Age to the UAW Union Theatre and striking automobile workers in post–World War II Detroit, to the struggle in the latter part of the twentieth century to finish an adaptation of Moby Dick for the stage before the memory of creator Rinde Eckert failed. Contributors incorporate methodologies and theories from fields as diverse as theatre history, work studies, legal studies, economics, and literature and draw on traditional archival materials, including performance texts and architectural structures, as well as less tangible material traces of stagecraft. Working in the Wings looks at the ways in which workers'identities are shaped, influenced, and dictated by what they do; the traces left behind by workers whose contributions have been overwritten; the intersections between the sometimes repetitive and sometimes destructive process of creation and the end result—the play or performance; and the ways in which theatre affects the popular imagination.
Marginal Sights by
Publication Date: 1994-01-01
Since the beginning of the Western tradition in drama, dominant cultures have theatrically represented marginal or foreign racial groups as other—different form'normal'people, not completely human, uncivilized, quaint, exotic, comic. Playwrights and audiences alike have been fascinated with racial difference, and this fascination has depended upon a process of fetishization. By the time Asians appeared in the United States, the framework for their constructed Lotus Blossom and Charlie Chan stereotypes had preceded them. Marginal Sights dismantles these stereotypes in an unrelenting attack on Anglo American institutions of racial representation. Rejects the dominant cultural assertion that stereotypes contain a germ of truth, arguing instead that this so-called germ of truth is itself a construction the serves the evolving social and material concerns of an often sinophobic white America.
Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies by
Publication Date: 2011-07-22
ames F. Wilson uncovers fascinating new material on the Harlem Renaissance, shedding light on the oft-forgotten gay and lesbian contributions to the era's creativity and Civil Rights. Extremely well researched, compellingly written, and highly informative.'---David Krasner, author of A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama, and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance, 1910-1927 Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies shines the spotlight on historically neglected plays and performances that challenged early twentieth-century notions of the stratification of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. On Broadway stages, in Harlem nightclubs and dance halls, and within private homes sponsoring rent parties, African American performers of the 1920s and early 1930s teased the limits of white middle-class morality. Blues-singing lesbians, popularly known as'bulldaggers,'performed bawdy songs; cross-dressing men vied for the top prizes in lavish drag balls; and black and white women flaunted their sexuality in scandalous melodramas and musical revues. Race leaders, preachers, and theater critics spoke out against these performances that threatened to undermine social and political progress, but to no avail: mainstream audiences could not get enough of the riotous entertainment. Many of the plays and performances explored here, central to the cultural debates of their time, had been previously overlooked by theater historians. Among the performances discussed are David Belasco's controversial production of Edward Sheldon and Charles MacArthur's Lulu Belle (1926), with its raucous, libidinous view of Harlem. The title character, as performed by a white woman in blackface, became a symbol of defiance for the gay subculture and was simultaneously held up as a symbol of supposedly immoral black women. African Americans Florence Mills and Ethel Waters, two of the most famous performers of the 1920s, countered the Lulu Belle stereotype in written statements and through parody, thereby reflecting the powerful effect this fictional character had on the popular imagination. Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies is based on historical archival research including readings of eyewitness accounts, newspaper reports, songs, and playscripts. Employing a cultural studies framework that incorporates queer and critical race theory, it argues against the widely held belief that the stereotypical forms of black, lesbian, and gay show business of the 1920s prohibited the emergence of distinctive new voices. Specialists in American studies, performance studies, African American studies, and gay and lesbian studies will find the book appealing, as will general readers interested in the vivid personalities and performances of the singers and actors introduced in the book.
Oriental, Black, and White by
Publication Date: 2022-09-20
In this book, Josephine Lee looks at the intertwined racial representations of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American theater. In minstrelsy, melodrama, vaudeville, and musicals, both white and African American performers enacted blackface characterizations alongside oriental stereotypes of opulence and deception, comic servitude, and exotic sexuality.
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Digital Theatre+ This link opens in a new window
Digital Theatre Plus provides online access to streaming video of over 450 classic, contemporary and international productions. Includes behind-the-scenes documentaries as well as teaching and learning resources to facilitate understanding of the productions and texts. in-depth interviews exploring the creative, technical theatre-making processes, as well as experimental, post-dramatic and applied theatre.
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