1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Theatre-Fiction

Edited By Graham Wolfe Copyright 2023

    Novelists have long been attracted to theatre. Some have pursued success on the stage, but many have sought to combine these worlds, entering theatre through their fiction, setting stages on their novels’ pages, and casting actors, directors, and playwrights as their protagonists. The Routledge Companion to Theatre-Fiction has convened an international community of scholars to explore the remarkable array of novelists from many eras and parts of the world who have created fiction from the stuff of theatre, asking what happens to theatre on the pages of novels, and what happens to novels when they collaborate with theatre. From J. W. Goethe to Louisa May Alcott, Mikhail Bulgakov, Virginia Woolf, and Margaret Atwood, some of history’s most influential novelists have written theatre-fiction, and this Companion discusses many of these figures from new angles. But it also spotlights writers who have received less critical attention, such as Dorothy Leighton, Agustín de Rojas Villandrando, Ronald Firbank, Syed Mustafa Siraj, Li Yu, and Vicente Blasco Ibañez, bringing their work into conversation with a vital field. A valuable resource for students, scholars, and admirers of both theatre and novels, The Routledge Companion to Theatre-Fiction offers a wealth of new perspectives on topics of increasing critical concern, including intermediality, theatricality, antitheatricality, mimesis, diegesis, and performativity.


    List of Contributors

    Introduction: When Novels Turn to Theatre

    Graham Wolfe

    Curtain Raiser: The Comic Romance of Theatre and Novel

    Graham Wolfe

    Part I. Theatre-Fictional Histories and Hauntings

    1. Theatre-Fiction-History: The Personal and Professional Industry of Theatre in Roja's  El viaje entretenido

    Lisa Jackson-Schebetta

    2. "The Archive in the Fiction": A Look into the Interiority of Classical Theatre

    Odai Johnson

    3. Echoes of Theatre Past: Blasco Ibañez’s El comediante Fonseca and Cozarinsky’s El rufián moldavo

    Stefano Boselli

    4. Ghosting in James’s The Tragic Muse: The Haunted Body and the Haunted House

    Sophie Stringfellow

    5. The Stage Properties of Willa Cather’s Theatre-Fiction

    Kevin Riordan

    6. Spectral Effects: Dual Roles, Doubling, and Invisibility in Robertson Davies’s World of Wonders

    Katrina Dunn

    Part II. Theatre-Fiction, Form, and Style

    7. Mishima Yukio’s "Onnagata" as a Shingeki Theatre-Fiction: "Amalgamation" of the Theatrical and the Literary in a Kabuki-World Tale

    Maki Isaka

    8. Elegy for a Lost World: Reading Syed Mustafa Siraj’s Mayamridanga as Theatre-Fiction

    Tamalika Roy

    9. "What Does it Matter—the Plot?": "Sapphic" and Theatrical Reading Strategies in Ronald Firbank’s Vainglory, Inclinations, and Caprice

    John R. Severn

    10. Theatre-Fiction in the Present Tense: Reflections on Temporality and the Other in Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed and Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal

    Alexandra Ksenofontova

    11. Method Acting, the Narrator, and the Figure of the Doppelganger in The Confessions of Edward Day

    Roweena Yip

    12. "No Curtains": Generic Divides and Ethical Connections in Ian McEwan’s Atonement

    Cara Hersh

    13. Making a Scene: The Craft of Writing Theatre-Fiction

    A Dialogue Between Mona Awad and Jessica Riley

    Part III. Performing Selfhood and Authorship through Theatre-Fiction

    14. Dorothy Leighton’s Disillusion and New Woman Experimentation

    Renata Kobetts Miller

    15. "I Sniff at a Red Artificial Geranium": Theatre, the Senses and the Self in Colette’s novel The Vagabond

    William McEvoy

    16. "A Real Actress": Theatre and Selfhood in Antonia White’s Frost in May Quartet

    Frances Babbage

    17. "Does it Have to be a Play?" Autofiction as Theatrical Failure in Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be?

    Chloe R. Green

    18. Mikhail Bulgakov’s Black Snow: Getting First-Personal with Stanislavski

    Graham Wolfe

    Part IV. Theatre-Fiction and Young People

    19. Playing and Scripting the Past while Imagining Futures in Charlotte Yonge’s 1864 Historical Dramas

    Heather Fitzsimmons Frey

    20. "A few Scenes of Humble Life": Theatre-making in the Novels of Louisa May Alcott

    Karen Quigley

    21. "Closer to Being Grown Up than Ever Before": Theatre as a Site of Passage in Children’s Fiction

    Stephanie Tillotson

    22. "A Theatre, that’s No Drawing Room, nor is it a House on a Raft": Discovering Theatre in Moominsummer Madness

    Deniz Başar

    23. The Bildungsroman Goes to Acting School

    Chris Hay

    24. Stage Struck: Theatre as Vocation in Penelope Fitzgerald’s At Freddie’s

    Sheila Rabillard

    Part V. Theatre-Fiction, Asymmetries, and Antitheatricalities

    25. Theatre-Stories in Early Modern China

    Mei Chun

    26. Against Anti-Theatricality: The Stage as Respectable Profession in Florence Marryat’s Theatre-Novels

    Catherine Quirk

    27. Affect in the Theatre-Novel: Performing Shame(lessness) in Wilkie Collins’s No Name

    Anja Hartl

    28. "Waiting in the Wings": The Economics and Ethereality of Theatrical Space in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus

    Rachael Newberry

    29. Spectatorship and Myth: Zola’s Theatre Episodes in The Kill and Nana

    Juliana Starr

    30. Theatrical Extraneity: John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany and Dickensian Theatre-Fiction

    Graham Wolfe

    Selected List of Theatre-Fiction



    Graham Wolfe is Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the National University of Singapore. His monograph, Theatre-Fiction in Britain from Henry James to Doris Lessing, was published by Routledge in 2020, and his articles have appeared in journals including Modern Drama, Mosaic, Adaptation, and Performance Research.