Books on Musicals and Drama

African Theatre for Development

Art for self-determination Edited by Kamal Salhi  

This book acts as a forum for investigating how African Theatre works and what its place is in this postmodern society. It provides the subject with a degree of detail unmatched in previous books, reflecting a new approach to the study of the performing arts in this region. The collection:

The book provides an opportunity to discover contemporary material from experts, critics and artists from across the world. The contributions are in a language and style that allow them to be read either as aids to formal study or as elements of discussion to interest the general reader.

Published 1998. Paperback, 244x174mm, 160 pages.
ISBN 1-871516-77-3

Theatre and Europe (1957 to 1995)

Christopher J McCullough  

While there are a number of books on specific aspects of European theatre during this period, this book goes further by relating theatre history to the development of the European Community as a whole. 

The volume covers 1957-1973, 1973-1986 and 1986-1995. The first two parts pay particular attention to those aspects of theatre that sought to shape, define, challenge and celebrate the ideals of a united Europe. The third part considers the implications for theatre of events before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Theatre and Europe is concerned with post-war Europe and its cultural identity. Essentially, this is an overview of the main strands of European thought (with regard to the development of European consciousness), manifest through significant moments of theatre practice. The book lays emphasis on the analytic sense of culture, wishing to illuminate a particular moment when theatre may be seen as an expression of, or a moment of subversion in, the accepted cultural status quo.

For instance, there is Jean-Louis Barrault and his involvement in the Paris student demonstrations of the late 1960s as left-wing ideologies were being reshaped after the Soviet intervention in Hungary. Equally, the Playwrights' Manifesto of 1980 reveals an anxiety about the perceived displacement of the writer and the pre-eminence of the literary form of drama as the creative efforts of actors were placed at the centre of theare-making.

Theatre and Europe attempts to instigate a debate from which students of theatre may be enabled to develop their own investigations further. The book is raising questions more than providing answers with regard to the relationship of theatre to our sense of ourselves as Europeans. In what ways may we understand the making of culture? The contention of the book is that theatre may no longer be perceived as separate from the material conditions from which it emerges.

Cultural directions in post-war Europe; Development of alternative theatre in Britain; The changing map of Europe since 1986.

Christopher McCullough is Lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter.

Paperback, 244x172mm, 90 pages. ISBN 1-871516-82-X

Women in European Theatre

Edited by Elizabeth Woodrough  

Women in European Theatre is both a study of women as writers and performers in Britain, France, Germany and Italy, and a study of conditions in the theatre as they affect women from the century to the 1970s. It also draws attention to a number of plays by women which have never appeared in print and some which have only just been republished after centuries of neglect.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Lizzie Howe, author of The First Restoration Actresses (CUP 1992) who was tragically murdered at an Open University summer school in 1992 and it contains a previously unpublished article by her.

Paperback, 244x172mm, 96 pages. ISBN 1-871516-86-2

Contemporary Irish Drama and Cultural Identity

Margaret Llewellyn-Jones  

Within the last ten years there has been a renaissance in Irish drama from both sides of the border, including award-winning work which has transfered to London and New York, and has toured Britain as well as Europe and Australia.

This book explores the dynamics of the relationship between these representations of Ireland and the fluid nature of cultural identity, especially during a period of economic and political change. Although the book establishes the historical context for contemporary Irish drama, and does include discussion of some of the earlier works of Brian Friel, Frank MacGuinness and Tom Murphy, the emphasis lies on their more recent work from 1980, and especially upon work created by new writers performed during the 1990's, during the emergence of the 'Celtic tiger economy' in the Republic, and the Peace Process in the North.
Key themes provide the structure of the book, which examines especially those theatrical strategies which have been associated with the performance of identity, particularly in a post-colonial situation. References are also made to interviews with writers, performers, directors and groups, as well as performances seen across Ireland and Britain.
Contemporary critical perspectives from post-colonial theory to psychoanalysis and performance praxis are deployed, but in an accessible way. In contrast to the tensions associated with the colonising relationship between Ireland and Britain, the relationship between Ireland and Europe are considered in terms of cultural and economic influences and performance practices, and that between Ireland and America in terms of the 'dream of the West', the diaspora and tourism.

Hardback, 160 pages. ISBN 1-84150-054-2

Languages of Theatre Shaped by Women

Lizbeth Goodman and Jane de Gay

Addressing issues of feminism and representation, this book provides a fresh and thorough consideration of the status and potential of Women's theatre today.
The authors explore a range of different approaches to the languages of theatre, including translation and interpretation of the art form, along with languages, performance work, body language and gesture. Considered alongside the related social issues of race, class and dialect, the following questions emerge: 

Goodman and de Gay analysis covers issues that are central to current courses in Theatre and Performance and Women's Studies. They assess the forms which women as theatre-makers have chosen to explore in the age of new technology, and look at some of the different definitions of 'theory' offered by theatre-makers and critics including Caryl Churchill, Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigiray and Julia Kristeva.

Paperback, 128 pages. ISBN 1-871516-78-1

Performing Processes

Creating Live Performance

Roberta Mock (ed)  

Live performance continues to be created every time it is performed. This book explores the dynamic relationship between creative process, presentation and spectator response to provide students and scholars in Drama with new insights on performance from poetry to pantomime.

These essays make parallels between areas of performance that are rarely, if ever, compared. They present the basis for an overall theory of how 'conception', 'development', 'presentation' and 'reception' are fused together to make up the overall 'performance'. This study investigates the relationship between the process of creating performance and spectator response, and how this exchange is embedded into the product itself.
The authors draw on theoretical approaches from a range of sources, and examine the work of contemporary dramatists, choreographers, poets and performers including: • Sarah Kane • Iain Baxter • Yolande Snaith • Slobodan Snajder • Phylis Nagy • Steve Benson • David Fielding • David Antin • Bette Midler • Karen Malpede • Stephen Daldry • Mai Lanfang
Its construction of a new, wide-ranging approach to performance research makes this book a valuable resource for the student as well as the broader academic community. It has application both as a textbook and for supplementary research on drama courses nationwide.

128 pages. Paperback. ISBN: 1-84150-010-0

Popular Theatre in Political Culture  

Britain and Canada in focus

Tim Prentki and Jan Selman

The first comparative study on the history and practice of popular theatre in Britain and overseas.

The fragmentation of social groups in the face of the global mass media has begun to threaten the survival of popular theatre companies. This study traces the development of various types of community theatre, from the '70s to the present day.
Attention is drawn to several key issues including:

• distinctions between popular and mainstream theatre
• the Theatre in Education movement
• influence of Theatre for Development from Africa and Asia
• popular theatre as: an art form, a process of self-empowerment and an instrument of cultural intervention

Integrating a comparative history of popular theatre with the contributions of current, active popular theatre makers, this book will appeal both to the theatrical practitioner and to the academic.

Paperback, 224 pages. ISBN 1-84150-015-1

The Professions in Contemporary Drama

Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe (ed)

Numerous plays have professionals as major characters, but academia has ignored them to a large extent.

The Professions in Contemporary British Drama fills this extraordinary gap with a series of nine papers discussing the professions in general (Williams, Bennett, Wood), the medical profession (Shields, Buse, Blumberg), and artists (di Benedetto, Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Edwards).

The book is of relevance to theatre academics and students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is based on a conference organised in conjunction with the Centre for English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, 6 March 1998.

Chapters Include;

Paperback 192 pages. ISBN: 1-84150-047-X

The Composition of Herman Melville

Rick Mitchell

How do writers compose, and how are they in turn composed?

This play, which contains biographical information relating to Herman Melville, is fundamentally an exploration of the ways in which these two things take place.

The play admits the truth of Walter Benjamin's view of history as "time filled by the presence of the now". Parallels between past and present (e.g., racism, domestic abuse, and the plight of the visionary American artist) are clearly implied, but the play also utilizes new technologies, in particular video, in order to represent the kind of dialectical history and representation promoted by Benjamin.

During Melville's lifetime, and in his own creative imagination, the archaic was undergoing its transformation into modernity. Thus Melville is an especially apt subject for an exploration of modernity and representation that utilizes both the modern &endash; i.e., video, montage &endash; and elements of the archaic &endash; i.e., the performing body, allusions to whaling, 'discovery' in the South Seas.

The Composition of Herman Melville utilizes performance strategies in an effort to embody the complex textuality of a writer who haunts the landscape of America, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This book is believed to represent the only work of historical fiction &endash; albeit in dramatic form &endash; that focuses primarily on Herman Melville, considered by many to be America's greatest writer.

Paperback, 64 pages. ISBN 1-84150-067-4

Tormented Minds

Three Plays by Christine Roberts

This anthology contains three plays (Ceremonial Kisses, Shading the Crime, and The Maternal Cloister) that feature a protagonist who is compelled to confront his or her particular oppressors. The critique of this oppression through theatre falls on particular social institutions and differs for each character. The main institutions under scrutiny are religion and the state.

The plays are very different in style and include the use of physical theatre, naturalistic explorations of human rights abuses, and symbolic structures, puppets and poetry. The plays are supported by an analysis of their processes and themes. All have reached production and the text is supplemented by photographs of these performances.

paperback ISBN 1-84150-081-X

Alisa, Alice

A play by Dragica Potocnjak

Translated by Lesley Anne Wade

In 1966, Slovenia's borders were opened to Western Europe. In 1991 she achieved independence from former Yugoslavia, but since 1992 she has been the recipient of refugees from the Bosnian war. This play deals symbolically with the attitude of the European Union towards refugees, and specifically with issues of prejudice between two small nations with different religions, in the immediate context of a power relationship between a Slovenian and a Bosnian woman. This translation will contribute to an understanding of the relationship between the personal and the political, and provide insights into sources of prejudice which inhabit our own lives.

Dragica Potocnjak, began working in the theatre as an actor. She performed the leading roles in about ten films for cinema and TV. In 1992 she started to write for theatre and radio. Her plays have been performed at Slovenia's major theatres, including Slovenia's National theatre. she has recently won an award in Austria in a competition for the best Slovene play (her most recent one, Empty Shoes), and that her plays are performed abroad, at the moment in Germany and Austria. This translation into English is the first of the work of a female Slovene playwright.

Lesley Wade is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter and Co-editor of Studies in Theatre and Performance. Previously she has translated and published three plays by Slovenia's leading contemporary playwright, who is also a director at the National theatre. She brings to this project a 34-year acquaintance with this small country and its concerns, and an acquired knowledge of its language.

paperback. ISBN 1-84150-089-5