The History of North American Theater: The United States, Canada, and Mexico from Pre-Columbian Times to the Present

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All the world's a stage. Yet the multicultural dimension of our own continent's stage has largely remained an untold story. It begins with the ancient traditions of Mexican and Native U.S. and Canadian societies, for whom theater was religious expression. The first Caribbean theater, the theater of New France (Quebec), and the stage of the American colonies followed.

In this comprehensive and magisterial History of North American Theater, Felicia Hardison Londre and Daniel ...

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Overview

All the world's a stage. Yet the multicultural dimension of our own continent's stage has largely remained an untold story. It begins with the ancient traditions of Mexican and Native U.S. and Canadian societies, for whom theater was religious expression. The first Caribbean theater, the theater of New France (Quebec), and the stage of the American colonies followed.

In this comprehensive and magisterial History of North American Theater, Felicia Hardison Londre and Daniel Watermeier chronicle these cultures, in addition to all the great playwrights and drama from 17th-century Mexico to minstrelsy and vaudeville, down to Broadway and the experimental theaters of our own time. Enhancing this majestic story are 300 illustrations depicting the full range and richness of the American theatrical heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

Bevya Rosten
At its best (which is most of the time), the book offers clear and cogent information...at its weakest it inundates the reader with...names and dates.
The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
With other histories of American theater now out of print (among them Barnard Hewitt's Theatre USA and Garff B. Wilson's Three Hundred Years of American Drama and Theatre), this excellent work fills a gap while also taking the opportunity to expand "America" to include all of North America. Londre (theater, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City) and Watermeier (theater, Univ. of Toledo) open the text with chapters devoted to theater of the Maya, the Aztec, and a number of North American tribes, then expand to "new Spain," "new France," the American Colonies, and the Caribbean; and continue with the inclusion of Canada and Mexico up to the present. Like many other surveys that try to cover such enormous amounts of material, this book leaves us wanting more, but it offers an excellent introduction and far-ranging coverage. Recommended for all libraries.--Susan L. Peters, Emory Univ. Lib., Atlanta
Booknews
Reveals the multicultural dimension of the history of North American theater, covering Mexican, Native US, Caribbean, and Canadian theater as well as US theater history. Coverage encompasses major theatrical developments, events, and influential figures, with sections on pre- Columbian performance, New Spain, the American colonies, New France, national stages, and the periods 1825-1870, 1870-1900, 1900-1945, and 1945 to the present. Includes some 300 b&w photos and illustrations. For students and general readers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Bevya Rosten
At its best (which is most of the time), the book offers clear and cogent information...at its weakest it inundates the reader with...names and dates. -- The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826410795
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 541
  • Product dimensions: 9.53 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 7
1 Pre-Columbian Performance 15
2 Theater in New Spain, the American Colonies, and New France 39
3 National Stages 81
4 Romantic Enactments: 1825-1870 111
5 Tradition and Transformation: 1870-1900 168
6 Entertainment and Art: 1900-1945 260
7 Renewal and Experimentation: 1945 to the present 361
Bibliography 486
Index of Names 517
Subject Index 529
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