Oxford Dictionary of Plays

Oxford Dictionary of Plays

by Michael Patterson
     
 

Anyone with an academic, professional, amateur, or recreational interest in the theater is likely to want to look up details of particular plays sometimes—perhaps to check on the author, or on when they were first performed, or perhaps to see how many characters they have, and whether or not they would be suitable for their theater company or drama group to

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Overview

Anyone with an academic, professional, amateur, or recreational interest in the theater is likely to want to look up details of particular plays sometimes—perhaps to check on the author, or on when they were first performed, or perhaps to see how many characters they have, and whether or not they would be suitable for their theater company or drama group to perform.
The Oxford Dictionary of Plays provides essential information on the 1000 best-known, best-loved, and most important plays in world theater. Each entry includes details of title, author, date of composition, date of first performance, genre, setting, and the composition of the cast, and more. A synopsis of the plot and a brief commentary, perhaps on the context of the play, or the reasons for its enduring popularity, follow. Around 80 of the most significant plays— from The Oresteia to Waiting for Godot—are dealt with in more detail. Genres covered include: burlesque, comedy, farce, historical drama, kabuki, masque, melodrama, morality play, mystery play, No, romantic comedy, tragicomedy, satire, and tragedy.
An index of characters enables the reader to locate favorite characters, and trace the trajectory of major historical and legendary characters—such as Iphigenia—through world drama, including in plays that do not have entries in the Dictionary. An index of playwrights, with dates, allows the reader to find all the plays included by a particular author.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A wonderful ready-reference tool."—School Library Journal

"Stands apart from many of the available drama resources.... A remarkable reference source for any library."—Choice

"The details provided here and the special features that enhance their presentation make this an exceptional reference work, and its reasonable price makes it affordable for almost any reference collection."—Booklist

"ODP is rivaled by nothing else in print and can be considered a replacement for The Book of 1000 Plays. Recommended for public, academic, and personal libraries."—Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Library Journal
For The Oxford Dictionary of Plays (ODP), Patterson (theater, De Montfort Univ., U.K.) has assembled a worthy digest of 1000 works that span the history of theater from Aristophanes to Michael Frayn's Democracy (2003). The entries, which run between 200 and 400 words, include the date and place of first performance, genre (descriptions of which are included in the preface), setting, cast required, and a synopsis of the action with a one-paragraph assessment of the play. This work's closest competitor is Steven Fletcher and Norman Jopling's The Book of 1000 Plays (1989), now out of print. Inevitably, there is duplication, but the ODP provides much greater detail about the on-stage action (for instance, its entry on Playboy of the Western World has 480 words) and adds value by giving dates of first performance and publication and the number of males and females needed for the cast. Each entry also includes at least a paragraph's worth of text setting the play in its historical context. Finally, ODP has the benefit of currency. The publisher is hereby petitioned to issue a sturdy, well-bound paperback so that theater students can have it with them always. Bottom Line ODP is rivaled by nothing else in print and can be considered a replacement for The Book of 1000 Plays. Recommended for public, academic, and personal libraries.-Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Moorhead Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198604174
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/02/2005
Pages:
560
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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