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Ranging from ancient Greek tragedies to the latest developments around the globe, The Oxford Companion
to Theatre and Performance provides an all-embracing approach that encompasses drama and musical, opera, dance, radio, and non-dramatic performances including circuses and parades. Based on the celebrated two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, this compact, affordable Companion features more than 2,000 up-to-date entries, covering styles and movements, buildings, organizations, and traditions--with a particularly strong focus on biographies of actors, playwrights, directors, and designers. Editor Dennis Kennedy has significantly updated the timeline of historical and cultural events in the world of theatre and performance, and he has added an appendix of useful weblinks, which are supported and accessible through a companion website. Finally, the book includes many new entries that cover the people and companies who have come into prominence since the publication of the Encyclopedia.
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Dennis Kennedy is Emeritus Professor and Fellow of Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was previously Samuel Beckett Professor and Head of the School of Drama. He has also been Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh and Associate Professor of English at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He has held distinguished visiting professorships at the Salzburg Seminar, McMaster University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Wisconsin, and was Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Karachi in Pakistan.
His publications include Granville Barker and the Dream of Theatre (CUP, 1985), Plays by Harley Granville Barker (CUP, 1987), Looking at Shakespeae: a visual history of twentieth-century performance (CUP, 1993, 2nd edn 2001), Foreign Shakespeare (CUP, 1993). His own plays have been performed in New York, London and at regional theatres in the US.
In 2003, the two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance was published to strong reviews that attested to how well the source filled a gap in the reference literature. The current publication is an updated and compressed version of that parent title. Conciseness is one of the defining characteristics of the Oxford Companion series, and this particular addition does not depart from that. Intending that the parent set will remain as a further reference, the editor has eliminated longer theoretical entries and entries of a certain type, like those for cities and regions. Biographies are remarkably condensed and focus only on the aspects of the persons life that relate to performance. At the same time, some new biographies and entries for new theater companies have been added. The volume has more than 2,000 entries in an AZ arrangement. Concepts or individuals mentioned in articles that have their own entries are marked with an asterisk. Articles are signed with initials referring to a list of contributors. There are no bibliographies at the end of the entries, but there is a large, subject-divided bibliography at the end of the volume. A time line places performances in the context of historical events. The volume ends with a list of web resources that contains no URLs but instead sends the researcher to a companion web page. This is a fine addition to the Oxford Companion series and should have a place in smaller libraries that do not have the two-volume encyclopedia or in any academic or large public library with an interest in theater. --Danise Hoover
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