Co-author with Bruce McConachie, Gary Williams, and Carol Fischer Sorgenfrei.
This second 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.
Completely revised and renewed in color, enhancements and new material include:
• a full-color text design with added timelines to each opening section
• a wealth of new color illustrations to help convey the vitality of performances described
• new case studies on African, Asian, and Western subjects
• a new chapter on modernism, and updated and expanded chapters and part introductions
• fuller definitions of terms and concepts throughout in a new glossary
• a re-designed support website offering links to new audio-visual resources, expanded bibliographies, approaches to teaching theatre and performance history, discussion questions relating to case studies, and an online glossary.
About the Authors (2010):
Phillip B. Zarrilli is Professor of Performance Practice in the Department of Drama at the University of Exeter. From 1976-1998 he was Professor of Theatre, Folklore, and South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also taught at U.C.L.A., Northwestern, N. Y. U. , and the University of Surrey. His books include Kathakali Dance-Drama: Where Gods and Demons Come to Play (Routledge 2000); "When the Body Becomes all Eyes": Paradigms, Practices, and Discourses of Power in Kalarippayattu, 2nd edn (Oxford University Press 2000); Acting (Re)Considered: Theories and Practices, 2nd edn (ed. Routledge 2002); Asian Martial Arts in Actor Training (ed. Madison 2003); Indian Theatre: Traditions of Performance (co-author; University of Hawaii Press 1990); Wilhelm Tell in America's Little Switzerland (co-author; Onalaska: Crescent Printing Company 1987); and The Kathakali Complex: Actor, Performance, Structure (New Delhi: Abhinav 1984). He is internationally known for training actors using a psychophysical process combining yoga and Asian martial arts, and as a director. His productions of Samuel Beckett's plays in Los Angeles, Austria, and Ireland have won considerable critical acclaim.
Bruce McConachie is Chair of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also directs and performs. He has published widely in American theatre history, theatre historiography, and performance and cognitive studies. Some of his major books include: Interpreting the Theatrical Past (with Thomas Postlewait, University of Iowa Press, 1989), Melodramatic Formations: American Theatre and Society, 1820-1870 (University of Iowa Press 1992); American Theater in the Culture of the Cold War (University of Iowa Press, 2003); Performance and Cognition (with F. Elizabeth Hart, Routledge 2006); and Engaging Audiences: A Cognitive Approach to Spectating in the Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan 2008). Professor McConachie is also a former President of the American Society for Theatre Research.
Gary Jay Williams is Professor Emeritus, Department of Drama, The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where he directed productions and taught theatre history, theory, and Shakespeare in performance for 29 years. He is the author of Moonlight Revels: A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Theatre (University of Iowa Press 1997), winner of Theatre Library Association's George Freedley Award. He was the Editor of Theatre Survey, journal of the American Society for Theatre Research from 1995 to 2001, and is the author of over fifty articles in journals, encyclopedias, and anthologies. He was a professional New York critic and a professional actor.
Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is Distinguished Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at U.C.L.A. She is a scholar, translator, playwright, and director focusing on Japanese, intercultural, and fusion theatre. She is the author of Unspeakable Acts: the Avant-Garde Theatre of Terayama Shuji and Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii Press 2005), as well as many articles in journals such as TDR, Theatre Journal, and Asian Theatre Journal, essays in books, play translations, and encyclopedia entries. Her fifteen original plays include the award-winning Medea: A No Cycle Based on the Greek Myth and the kabuki-flamenco Blood Wine, Blood Wedding. With Israeli director Zvika Serper, she created the internationally acclaimed Japanese-Israeli fusion play The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds. She is currently a Research Fellow in the Institute for Theatre Studies at Berlin's Free University.
‘Perhaps most significantly, this book integrates the studies of western and non-western traditions of performance practice and it uses carefully detailed case studies to exemplify and to probe an issue in more depth. Thus, Theatre Histories: An Introduction is notable not only for how it records the past but for how it critiques our study of that past.’ - Harry J. Elam, Jr, Stanford University
‘Provides a fresh and most welcome look at this field, offering not a single totalizing view but multiple narratives from multiple perspectives. By looking at theatre and performance from a global perspective and utilizing a range of critical methodologies, the authors have provided a work that more than any other currently available suggests the range and richness of theatre and performance history study today.’ - Marvin Carlson, City University of New York
‘Theatre Histories has finally achieved a new synthesis of performance studies and traditional theatre history, inflected with methodological insights from cultural studies and critical theory, that provides an appropriate pedagogy for the twenty-first century. ... Williams, best known for his scholarship on Shakespeare; Zarrilli, a specialist in Indian theatre and actor training; Sorgenfrei, an established scholar of Japanese theatre; and McConachie, whose American performance research has been blended with community-based research and performance, constitute a strong team of historians whose collective expertise is richly appropriate to the scope of this project. ... This book will significantly change theatre education.’ - Janelle Reinelt, University of California, Irvine
‘Globally ambitious in its scope, innovative in design, and open-ended in its challenge to the received histories, this new grand narrative will engage scholars and students at every level, whatever their particular interests in past performance.’ - Jacky Bratton, Royal Holloway, University of London
‘Finally we have a book that conceives theatre history in world terms and breaks down the Euro-American boundaries that have marginalised the theatres of other cultures for so long.’ - Brian Singleton, The University of Dublin, Trinity College
‘As a sophisticated introduction to “history at work” in theatre, this book should provide a refreshing alternative to traditional undergraduate texts.’ - Judith Milhous, City University of New York
‘Perhaps the first theatre history text to treat non-Western theatre with such intelligence and seriousness ... This text will revolutionize theatre history pedagogy.’ - E.J. Westlake, University of Michigan
‘This is the strongest introduction to theatre history available … its greatest strength is the thematic focus and incorporation of performance traditions from around the world.’ - Christian Billing, University of Hull
‘This is a great teaching aid, packed with anthropological observations, written by academics from the UK and the States.’ - WhatsOnStage.com
‘Theatre Histories: An Introduction (second edition) rejects the objectivity and documentarianism of what is called foundationalist history, and recognizes that the writing of history has been affected by historical and cultural formations within which historians work.’ - Michal Kobialka, The Drama Review
View the book’s companion website.
View this title on the Routledge website.
A third edition recently appeared (2016).