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Criticism, Theory & History: New & Featured

See also: Canadian Theatre Studies and National Theatre Studies.

Trans(per)Forming Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of WorkTrans(per)Forming Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work
Judith Rudakoff
Nina Arsenault: transgendered playwright-performer, columnist, and sex worker. Arsenault has undergone more than sixty surgeries at a cost $200 000 to feminize and beautify her originally male body. Rudakoff brings together texts by artists, scholars, and Arsenault herself that vary widely in perspective, experience and form. Softcover, 232 pp. $29.95.

The Horse's MouthThe Horse's Mouth

Mervyn Millar
Millar's book follows the production of War Horse from early concept workshops, through the design and development of the magnificent life-size horse puppets, research of the play's languages and wartime setting, the explanatory process of making the adaptation. Softcover, 96 pp. $32.95.

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights

Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer & Aleks Sierz
The Methuen Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights is an authoritative introduction to the work of twenty-five playwrights who have risen to prominence since the 1980s. Written by an international team of scholars, it provides detailed and insightful surveys of each writer's work, and considers their particular contribution contemporary British theatre. Softcover, 520 pp. $30.00.

Theatre and the Mind|Theatre and the Mind|
Mick Gordon
In this collection of essays Mick Gordon overturns the usual question "How can theatre serve us?" by asking instead, "How can we best serve theatre?" Drawing on recent research developments, he suggests that an improved understanding of the workings of the mind can encourage better theatre and, in so doing, has the power to inspire ethical change. Hardcover, 71 pp. $23.50.

The Reluctant EscapologistThe Reluctant Escapologist

Mike Bradwell
An unrivalled unofficial history of the rise - and partial fall - of fringe theatre, Mike Bradwell's deadpan account of his adventures is one of the funniest and angriest books to come out of theatre today. Bradwell makes a compelling case for preserving the true and subversive spirit of theatre from castration at the hands of bankers, consultants, stakeholders, and the Arts Council. Softcover, 302 pp. $37.95.

The Well Read PlayThe Well Read Play
Stephen Unwin
Written by one of Britain's leading theatre directors, this book provides a framework for deepening our appreciation and enjoyment of reading dramatic writing. Ideal for students, practitioners, or fans of theatre and performance. Softcover, 232 pp. $34.50.

Quick ChangeQuick Change

Daniel Gerould
This volume of writings by Daniel Gerould contains 28 essays on the art of theatre, and four plays in translation from his extraoardinary fifty year career as one of the world's leading drama theorists and critic. Softcover, 460 pp. $24.50.

Change for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway MusicalChanged for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical

Stacy Wolf
Stacy Wolf illuminates the women of American musical theatre from the start of the Cold War to the present day, creating a new, feminist history of the genre. Softcover, 306 pp. $27.95.

The Secret KnowledgeThe Secret Knowledge
David Mamet
After writing an article for The Village Voice in 2008 titled "Why I am No Longer a "Brain Dead Liberal'" he was asked to write (or so he claims) a book on politics. This is that book. Hardcover, 242 pp. $32.50.

Devising Theatre

Alison Oddey
Devising Theatre is a practical handbook that combines a critical analysis of contemporary devised theatre practice with descriptions of selected companies, and suggestions for any group devising theatre from scratch. Softcover, 300 pp. $50.95.

Theatre World 2009-2010Theatre World 2009-2010
, Volume 66
Ben Hodges & Scott Denyy
The authoritative statistical and pictorial record of the Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway seasons, for the year 2009-2010. Also includes touring companies and professional regional companies. Volume 66. Hardcover, 593 pp. $53.99.

The Oxford Companion to Theatre & PerformanceThe Oxford Companion to Theatre & Performance

Dennis Kennedy
Featuring over 2,400 up to date entries covering the hugely divers world of live entertainment, this companion spans the gamut from drama's ancient roots to modern day performance art. Hardcover, 690 pp. $50.00.

Hijikata: Revolt of the Body Hijikata: Revolt of the Body
Stephen Barber
Tatsumi Hijikata invented the revolutionary performance art 'Ankoku Butoh' - now celebrated worldwide as one of the most innovative and haunting contemporary art forms. This essential study of Hijikata is the first ever account of his life and work in English, and is based on extensive itnerviews withi his surviving collaborators. Softcover, 112 pp. $23.95.


Theatre & InterculturalismTheatre & Interculturalism
Ric Knowles
Interculturalism is an increasingly urgent topic in the twenty-first century. As human traffic between nations increases, it becomes imperative to critically re-examine the way cultural exchange is performed. Theatre & Interculturalism surveys established approaches and asks what it would mean to reconsider intercultural performance, not from the points of view of the colonising cultures, but 'from below' -- from the viewpoints of the historically colonised to the marginalised. Softcover, 95 pp. $11.00. See earlier books in the series.

Theatre & FeelingTheatre & Feeling
Erin Hurley
Theatre & Feeling explores the idea that, for many people, theatre is a passion. Erin Hurley provides an intellectual framework for the range of emotional experience engendered by the theatre, establishing a baseline for further thinking and practice in this rich and emergent area of inquiry. Moving across Western dramatic theory and the theatre history, the book demonstrates the centrality of feeling to the theatre. Softcover, 88 pp. $11.00. See earlier books in the series.

Theatre & SexualityTheatre & Sexuality
Jill Dolan
Theatre & Sexuality introduces critical methods and artistic practices that link drama, theatre, and performance with minority sexualities in both the USA and the UK. It narrates a select history of LGBTQ theatre from the early twentieth century to the present. Including an extended reading of Split Britches/Bloolips' production Belle Reprive, the book offers clear analysis, as well as a celebration, of LGBTQ performance. Softcover, 107 pp. $11.00. See earlier books in the series.

Reading the Plays of Wendy WassersteinReading the Plays of Wendy Wasserstein

Jan Balakian
Drawing on the recently established Wasserstein archives at Mount Holyoke College, this book delves into primary sources such as commencement speeches and popular songs and features unpublished handwritten pages from the playwright's notebooks. Lending further insight into Wasserstein's concerns are Balakian's own interviews with the playwright herself and conversations with Wasserstein's friends, including playwright Christopher Durang, director Dan Sullivan, and playwright and director Emily Mann. Softcover, 244 pp. $19.99.

The Pulitzer Prize Plays: The First Fifty Years: 1917 - 1967 The Pulitzer Prize Plays: The First Fifty Years: 1917 - 1967

Paul A. Firestone
From 1917-1967, forty-two plays were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Though varied in style from satirical to tragic, from realistic to fantastic, they all masterfully reflect universal themes and explore the most important, ongoing, colossal human questions. This ambitious book examines the plays and playwrights of this period, illuminating the historical context in which the plays emerged, and their relevance on sociological, political, familial, psychological, and spiritual levels. Softcover, 341 pp. $19.95.

David Mamet
Award winning playwright, director, and general malcontent David Mamet here offers up his latest treatise on the state of theatre. In his now familiar rabble-rousing way Mamet calls for an end to acting theory, dramaturges, experimentation, and even directors themselves. He even finds some time to rail against the looming danger of communism. This book is guaranteed to inspire or enrage anyone who works in or loves the theatre; it is essential reading. Softcover, 155 pp. $17.50.

Applied TheatreApplied Theatre: International Case Studies and Challenges for Practice

Monica Prendergast & Juliana Saxton
Applied Theatre is the first collection to assist practitioners and students in developing critical frameworks for their own community-based theatrical projects. The editors draw on thirty case studies in applied theatre from fifteen countries -- covering a wide range of applications from theatre, education, medicine, human rights and community development. The text presents essential readings to provide a comprehensive survey of the field. Infused with an historical and theatrical overview of practical theatre, Applied Theatre offers clear developmental approaches and models for application. Softcover, 224 pp. $42.95.

In Search of Duende In Search of Duende
Federico Garcia Lorca
Compiled on the centenary of his birth, this little book gathers Lorca's writings about the duende and about three of the art forms most susceptible to it: dance, cante jondo, and the bullfight. A full bilingual sampling of Lorca's best poetry is also included, with special attention to poems that arise from traditional Spanish verse forms, "bound", as Lorca says, "to the earth, all thistles and terminal stones." Softcover, 113 pp. $12.50.

About Kane: the Playwright & the WorkAbout Kane: the Playwright & the Work
Graham Saunders
Sarah Kane,one of the most controversial and talented playwrights of recent times is included in this excellent series which is distinguished by its student-friendly feel, highly readable and jargon free. Softcover, 184 pp. $18.00.

Theatre Histories: An IntroductionTheatre Histories: An Introduction
Second Edition
Gary Jay Williams
This new edition of the innovative and widely acclaimed Theatre Histories: An Introduction offers overviews of theatre and drama in many world cultures and periods together with case studies demonstrating the methods and interpretive approaches used by today's theatre historians. Softcover, 630 pp. $57.95.

Theatre & AudienceTheatre &

Various authors
Theatre & is a series of short books which explores connections between theatre and the wider world, asking how theatre might illuminate the world and how the world might illuminate the theatre. Each book is written by a leading theatre scholar and represents the cutting edge of critical thinking in the discipline. Published in the series so far are:

  • Theatre & The City by Jen Harvie. $9.95;
  • Theatre & Globalization by Dan Rebellato. $11.00;
  • Theatre & Education by Helen Nicholson. $11.00;
  • Theatre & Audience by Helen Freshwater. $11.00;
  • Theatre & Politics by Joe Kelleher. $13.00;
  • Theatre & Human Rights by Paul Rae. $11.00.

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Theatre Criticism, Theory & History titles are listed alphabetically by author's last name.
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Theatre, Performance, and the Historical Avant-Garde
Gunter Berghaus
This volume examines the performance aesthetics of four major art movements: Expressionism, Futurism, Dadaism, and Constructivism. After outlining the orgins and general characteristics of the historical avant-garde, this study offers detailed coverage of key performances undertaken by artists, usually outside the conventional theatre environment. Gunter Berghaus identifies paths and trajectories through a complex artistic terrain, often referred to as "Art Performances," and surveys trends and events that had a fundamental influence on the development of a modern theatre practice. Softcover, 374 pp. $40.00.

Grotowski's Empty RoomGrotowski's Empty Room

Paul Allain
This collection considers how Grotowski's explorartions in the theatre continue to challenge us, from his research-based investigations in his Laboratory days through to the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards' ongoing activities. The contributors, all specialists in the field, reflect with strong insight on how theatre scholars and practitioners can begin to work on and with Grotowski today. Hardcover, 233 pp. $34.95.

Talking Theatre: Interviews with Theatre PeopleTalking Theatre: Interviews with Theatre People

Richard Eyre
This must-read volume brings together forty candid and insightful conversations between Richard Eyre and a stunning group of the most extraordinary theatre artists of the second half of the twentieth century. John Gielgud, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, Peter Brook, Tom Stoppard, Judi Dench, Robert Lepage, Tony Kushner, and Peter Hall are but a few of the artists profiled here. What emerges from these interviews is an unrivalled, behind-the-scenes account of the most important productions and performances in the theatre in recent times. Softcover, 331 pp. $24.95.

Performance in Place of WarPerformance in Place of War

James Thompson, Jenny Hughes & Michael Balfour
From the Greeks and Shakespeare to the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, war has always been a major theme for theatre artists. However, the most extraordinary performance projects in recent years have not only been about war but have also come from conflict zones themselves. This fascinating volume is concerned with these initiatives -- theatre in refugee camps, in war-affected villages, in towns under curfew, in cities under occupation. This books presents theatre and performance that occurs, literally, at the moment bombs are falling, as well as during times of ceasefire and in the aftermath of war. Hardcover, 351 pp. $34.95.


Wallace Shawn
In these bold essays, Wallace Shawn takes us on a revelatory journey through high art, war, culture, politics, and privilege. With his distinctive humour and insight, Shawn invites us to look at the world with new eyes, the better to understand it ... and change it. Hardcover, $18.95.

Empire of IllusionEmpire of Illusion
Chris Hedges
In Empire of Illusion author Chris Hedges travels to the ringside of professional wrestling, through Los Vegas's porn industry, and to academic conferences held by positive psychologists -- who claim to be able to engineer happiness -- to chronicle our terrifying flight as a culture into a state of illusion. By attacking the absurd idea that we can always draws on inner resources and strengths to have everything we desire, Hedges exposes the mechanisms used to divert us from confronting the economic, political, and moral collapse around us. Hardcover, $29.95.

Speaking in Tongues: Language at Play in the TheatreSpeaking in Tongues: Language at Play in the Theatre
Marvin Carlson
The use of multiple languages in the contemporary theatre is in part a reflection of a more globalized culture, but it also calls attention to how the mixing of language has always been an important part of the functioning of theatre. This book presents a unique account of how language has been employed in the theatre, not simply as a means of communication but also as a stylistic and formal device, and for a number of cultural and political operations. Hardcover, 257 pp. $69.00.

The American Theatre Reader:The American Theatre Reader: Essays and Conversations from American Theatre Magazine

Editors of American Theatre Magazine
On the occasion of American Theatre magazine's 25th anniversary, the editors have selected the best essays and interviews from its pages to provide an intimate look at the people, plays and events that have shaped the American theatre over the past quarter-century? Softcover, 615 pp. $29.95.

The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre HistoriographyThe Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography

Thomas Postlewait
Designed for students and teachers alike, this introduction provides a detailed guide for historical research in the performing arts. The book examines basic procedures and problems in both documentary scholarship and cultural history. A practical guide, this study demonstrates how to construct historical events -- large and small -- and place them in relation to the political, social, and economic conditions, the artistic traditions, audience responses and values, and historical periods. Softcover, 346 pp. $31.95.

The Death of the CriticThe Death of the Critic
Ronan McDonald
The critic has long been a reviled figure, at best the mere handmaiden of the 'creative' arts, at worst a parasite upon them. In an age of book clubs, celebrity endorsements and internet bloggers, what role is there now for the professional critic as an arbiter of artistic value? Ronan McDonald comes to the defense of the public critic by countering recent claims that all artistic value is simply relative and subjective and considers why high-profile public critics, such as William Empson, F.R. Leavis, or Lionel Trilling, become much rarer in the later 20th century. Softcover, 160 pp. $20.95.

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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