Interpreting the Theatrical Past
"…a valuable book which will arouse questions, inspire debate, and fuel research projects for years to come. If the work…collected here may be taken as examples of the finest in theatre history research, the state of the profession may be judged to be healthy indeed."—Theatre History Studies
“. . . an exciting volume of essays . . . Postlewait and McConachie state . . . that their purpose is ‘to open up topics, to raise issues, to define practices, and to challenge assumptions in theatre history.’ The thirteenth essays that follow, written by several of North America’s (and one of Europe’s) foremost theatre historians, fulfill this purpose and more.”—Theatre History Studies
“. . . a useful and important collection of essays for theatre historians and students of theatre history.”—Theatre Research International
“This anthology will do much to make theatre scholars aware of the issues, practices, and orientations impinging upon theatre history, and that is the necessary beginning to (re)interpreting the theatrical past.”—Theatre Journal
The essays in this broadly based work examine the research procedures, practices, problems, and opportunities in the field of theatre history. No single methodology or theory dominates this anthology; instead it offers various approaches to the study of the theatrical past. It is the first of its kind in theatre historiography, useful for research as well as classroom adoption.
Though these thirteen essays provide historical information on specific people, events, works, documents, institutions, and social conditions in the theatre, they aim primarily to explore theoretical and methodological issues, to review and analyze current research practices and presuppositions, and to identify and apply new theoretical orientations to theatre studies. Whatever their interpretive viewpoint and rhetorical tone, each of the essays calls for greater awareness of the problems and opportunities that face the discipline. Consequently, this collection will be valuable reading not only for theatre historians but for scholars in literary and popular studies and in all the performing arts.