The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre (Oxford Illustrated Histories)

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9780192129970: The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre (Oxford Illustrated Histories)
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Reaching back in time and across the world, The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre, an authoritative and lavishly illustrated new history, celebrates the stage's greatest achievements over 4,500 years, from festival performances in ancient Egypt to international, multicultural drama in the late twentieth century, and from Sophocles and Aristophanes to George Gershwin and Harold Pinter. Here are the playwrights, plays, actors, directors, producers, songwriters, famous playhouses, dramatic movements, and more, accessibly and attractively arranged so that everyone with a passion for the stage can follow the glorious procession of this triumphant art throughout history and across cultures.
Beginning with the origins of theatre in Greece and Rome and in the early civilizations of Africa and the Americas, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Theatre guides readers through the full spectrum of dramatic representation--from medieval mystery cycles and miracle plays to the Renaissance in Italy, Spain, England, and France; from Calderon, Shakespeare, and Moliere to Tennessee Williams, Oscar Hammerstein, and Samuel Beckett; and from the Golden Age in Spain to the Dadaist movement and avant-garde. The distinguished contributors highlight what is most vital and defining about the theatre in any given period and uncover the means by which these distinctive achievements were created. Throughout, the book illuminates the theatre's changing role within society, the reasons for the popularity or failure of a given production or trend, and the interplay between the theatre and other forms of art and with contemporary thought. It also gives due weight to how the scene backstage evolved through the centuries--the role of musicians, light, sound, and equipment, and the art of set design--and to the crucial role of the audience and critics. Finally, there are stimulating essays on the history of Asian theatre and a concluding account of theatre since 1970 by editor John Russell Brown that highlights the contributions of our best-loved contemporary playwrights, directors, and lyricists.
Spectacular color and black-and-white illustrations throughout bring the very visual nature of theatre to life, serving as dramatic accompaniment to the text. The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre is an essential source of reference for anyone interested in the stage, from students and teachers to seasoned professionals and starry-eyed fans.

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About the Author:


About the Editor:
John Russell Brown is Professor of Theatre at the University of Michigan and was for fifteen years Associate of the National Theatre in London. He has written numerous books and directed plays for professional and student companies around the world.

From Booklist:

Well-written, utterly absorbing, this general history of theater provides a remarkably comprehensive overview of world theater, thanks to editor Brown's inspired idea of structuring the book as a series of connected essays. Each article is by a scholar whose expertise corresponds to the topic at hand: Oliver Taplin discusses Greek theater; Martin Esslin, modern theater; Leslie du S. Read, theater in Africa and pre-Columbian America, etc. This strategy avoids the Eurocentrism of many other theater histories, even though most of the book is still concerned with Western theater; for, indeed, some of the complexity and diversity of traditions influencing contemporary drama and performance theory are accurately conveyed. Of course, the chapters are not all equally satisfying: Taplin on the Greeks manages to shed new light on an often discussed topic, whereas Read's too-short section on Africa and the Americas leaves us wanting to know much more about these scarcely discussed non-Western traditions. Jack Helbig

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780192854421: The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre

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ISBN 10:  0192854429 ISBN 13:  9780192854421
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2001
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9780192880628: The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre (Oxford Illustrated Histories)

Oxford..., 1997
Softcover

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