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.