This thoroughly revised and updated third edition of the innovative and widely acclaimed Theatre Histories: An Introduction offers a critical overview of global theatre and drama, spanning a broad wealth of world cultures and periods. Bringing together a group of scholars from a diverse range of backgrounds to add fresh perspectives on the history of global theatre, the book illustrates historiographical theories with case studies demonstrating various methods and interpretive approaches.
Subtly restructured sections place the chapters within new thematic contexts to offer a clear overview of each period, while a revised chapter structure offers accessibility for students and instructors. Further new features and key updates to this third edition include:
- A dedicated chapter on historiography
- New, up to date, case studies
- Enhanced and reworked historical, cultural and political timelines, helping students to place each chapter within the historical context of the section
- Pronunciation guidance, both in the text and as an online audio guide, to aid the reader in accessing and internalizing unfamiliar terminology
- A new and updated companion website with further insights, activities and resources to enable students to further their knowledge and understanding of the theatre.
Table of Contents
General Introduction. Part I: Performance in Oral and Manuscript Cultures. Introduction: Speech, Writing, and Performance 1. From Oral to Literate Performance 2. Pleasure, Power, and Aesthetics: Theatre in Early Literate Societies, 500 BCE–1450 CE 3. Commemorative Drama and Carnival. Part II: Theatre and Performance in Early Print Cultures. Introduction: Performance, Printing, and Political Centralization 4. Secular and Early Professional Theatre, 1250–1650 5. Theatre and the Print Revolution, 1550–1650 6. Theatres of Absolutism, 1600–1770. Part III: Theatre and Performance in Periodical Print Cultures. Introduction: Theatre for Bourgeois Civil Society 7. Theatre and Sentiment: Newspapers, Private Lives, and the Bourgeois Public Sphere, 1700–1785 8. Nationalism in the Theatre, 1760–1880 9. Performing "Progress": From Imperial Display to the Triumph of Realism and Naturalism, 1790–1914 10. New Media Divide the Theatres of Print Culture, 1870–1930. Part IV: Theatre and Performance in Electric and Electronic Communication Culture. Introduction: Theatre and the Unceasing Communications Revolutions 11. New Theatres for Revolutionary Times, 1910–1950 12. The Aftermath of World War II: Realism and its Discontents in an Increasingly Shrinking World, 1940–1970 13. Art, Politics or Business?: Theatre in Search of Identity, 1968–2000 14. Theatres of Local Roots and Global Reach (1970–Present) 15. Theatre in Networked Culture, 1990–Present. Glossary
Tobin Nellhaus is an independent scholar and former Librarian for Performing Arts, Media and Philosophy at Yale University. He writes mainly on the relationship between theatre and communication practices, and on critical realism in theatre historiography.
Bruce McConachie is Chair of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also directs and performs. He has published widely in American theatre history, theatre historiography, and performance and cognitive studies, and is a former President of the American Society for Theatre Research.
Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is Professor Emerita of Theatre and Performance Studies and former Vice Chair for Graduate Programs at UCLA and former Research Fellow in the Institute for Theatre Studies at Berlin's Free University. She is a scholar, translator, playwright, and director focusing on Japanese and cross-cultural theatre.
Tamara Underiner is Associate Dean for Research for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, and director of the Ph.D. program in Theatre and Performance of the Americas.
"When the first edition of Theatre Histories appeared in 2006 it set a new standard in the field for breadth of geographical coverage, for exploring the inter-relation of theatre with social and cultural history, and for its in-depth presentation of historical methodology. The new third edition further excels in all of these areas as well as being tied to an excellent online supplement."
- Marvin Carlson, Distinguished Professor, The City University of New York
"The third edition is a bold reworking of an already revolutionary text. The major restructuring of the chapters, case studies, and theoretical frames give the text laser clarity and make it easier to integrate into the curriculum. The diverse range of case studies makes this text deeply engaging. The authors of this volume present us yet again with a brilliant and provocative examination of the study of theatre history with its ambitious range and innovative critique of the historical narrative. Through Theatre Histories, the third edition, McConachie, Nellhaus, Sorgenfrei, and Underiner strike that rare balance, simultaneously teaching the historical meta-narrative while interrogating and subverting the concept of metanarratives. The book provides a dynamic platform for students and instructors alike to engage thoughtfully with the history of the theatre."
- E.J. Westlake, Associate Professor of Theatre and English, University of Michigan