More than 80 experts contributed entries to this comprehensive guide to American theater from its earliest history to the present, with special attention given to contemporary theater in the United States. Includes more than 2,300 entries, a biographical index of more than 3,000 individuals, and 250 illustrations.
This basic reference work begins with a historical introduction keyed to the guide's entries, then offers brief, alphabetically arranged essays on American theatrical figures--actors, playwrights, producers, directors, designers--as well as plays and major theaters from the art form's origins in Native American rituals to the present. In addition, more than 90 topical entries cover theatrical development in significant cities, ethnic and feminist theater, the history of theatrical nudity, stock companies, and vaudeville. A healthy bibliography and biographical index add to the volume's usefulness for the student and researcher. Wonderfully compact, well written, and generously illustrated, this is recommended for most libraries.-- Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., Mass.
Following in the tradition of the Cambridge Guide to World Theatre (1989), this work offers a "comprehensive view of the history and present practice of the theatre in the United States" that is appropriate for scholars, students, and general readers. Coverage is current through early 1992. The editors, university professors of theater, have made a special effort to cover contemporary theater
The nucleus for this book was the U.S. entries from the Cambridge Guide to World Theatre, which were revised and updated. The editors have attempted to view American theater in the broadest possible terms, and to this end they include such topics as circus, magic, vaudeville, burlesque, and folk festivals. There are also entries on the theater of often-neglected groups, such as gay and lesbian, African American, Asian American, Chicano, and Yiddish. Also included are entries on theater in various U.S. cities and such topical entries as "Children's Theatre", "Frontier Theatre", "Mime/Pantomime", "Scenic Design", and "Shakespeare in the American Theatre". A 20-page survey article on the history of American theater is very helpful, as are the extensive bibliography and the biographical index giving brief information about 3,000 individuals mentioned only within other entries. The alphabetically arranged entries on individuals, theater companies, theaters, and individual plays are long enough to adequately cover the topics. Many entries have suggestions for further reading at the end. Entries are signed with the initials of the contributor; these 80 experts are listed in the book. About 170 black-and-white illustrations add greatly to the portrayal of the world of American theater
This guide is an excellent resource and will be welcome in all types of libraries. Librarians who enjoy using the Cambridge Guide to World Theatre can order this work with confidence. It is an excellent update to The Oxford Companion to American Theatre by Gerald Bordman (Oxford, 1984) and a fine work in its own right.
'Scholarly books don't often fall in the 'must have' category. This one does.' American Drama
'A well-produced, carefully planned and researched, and gratifyingly 'user-friendly' book - a splendid contribution to our appreciation of the wealth of what American theatre is and has been.' New Theatre Quarterly
'An impressive repository of information that every student of American drama - and, more broadly, of American culture - will want to own.' Theatre Survey
'...readily accessible to its intended audience: the general reader and scholars and students of American theatre in performance if not as literature. This edition is compact, thoughtfully illustrated and moderately priced. It will prove a useful addition for libraries and humanities collections.' Reference Reviews