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From the Publisher
"[T]he brilliantly conceived Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre, edited by Samuel L. Leiter….comprehensively covers both traditional and modern theatre from South, South-East, and Far East Asia…..[i]ts organization is so intuitively logical and user friendly that it should become a model for all future reference works….Beyond the alphabetical listings of countries, artists, or genres, there are long entries (called headwords) that cover major areas of interest….Although one can use the book like a dictionary, it is not necessary to know in advance the name of a specific artist or genre or even what country they are from. Rather, you may begin with large ideas and find cross-references to more specific ones….Many articles include references for further reading, as well as photographs. The use of headwords fosters comparative and cross-cultural thinking fruitful browsing, and unimagined discoveries….No library should be without this extraordinary resource."
Text & Presentation
"[T]he Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre is not only a welcome addition to the literature in the field but is also timely….This set is recommended for Asian studies and theater studies programs."
American Reference Books Annual
"This work is indeed the very first Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre and as such it will be very useful for the many students in Asian theatre. Because Asian performance is so expansive in time and space we can be significantly helped by a comprehensive work such as this."
Asian Theatre Journal
In two volumes, this encyclopedia provides information relating to Asian theater, presented alphabetically and including ancient traditions for each country as well as contemporary and avant-garde ones. Leiter focuses on theater work rather than dance. Subjects consist of countries and regions (from Bangladesh to Vietnam), biographies of figures (the bulk of the entries), genres and forms such as kabuki and no, and general topics such as acting, women, directing, religion, costumes, censorship, and masks, with separate discussions of pertinent countries within these entries. Dancers and musicians are generally omitted in favor of actors, directors, playwrights, and designers.
Reference & Research Book News
"In this encyclopedia for both the theater novice and the international expert, Leiter and his extensive posse of highly qualified theater professionals provide quickly digestible capsules arranged in easy-to-find alphabetical entries."
The Bloomsbury Review
"This sweeping, comprehensive guide to both traditional and contemporary Asian theater is an excellent resource, broadly expanding on any other previous reference work on the subject. Indeed, no such definitive and in-depth resource has been published on Asian theater….[t]wo volumes of detailed, meticulous entries on everything from the experimental theater of India to famous kabuki actors, arranged alphabetically for easy access and use. The entries are written by an impressive list of expert authors. Editor Leiter, a renowned researcher in the field and former editor of Asian Theatre Journal, is the author of nearly two dozen books, primarily on Asian theater. The set features an extensive bibliography. Further Reading citations accompany most important topics, and a Topical Guide to Entries is especially useful. Illustrations are scattered throughout both volumes. This reference work will obviously prove of great value to students of the performing arts, but also to those studying the history, literature, and culture of Eastern civilization. Essential. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers."
"This is a work of considerable scholarship and covers a rich selection of people, genres, and knowledge from the exotic world of Asian theatre, much of it little known outside their local regions. It will be of great value to libraries covering the performing arts and Asian studies."
"Covering both modern and traditional theater in South, Southeast, and Far East Asia, this alphabetically arranged encyclopedia offers a wealth of detailed information on a relatively underdocumented topic…Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre is a good addition for university collections where there is a focus on Asian history or theater."
Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
"The most comprehensive resource on Asian theater ever published."