Volume 33 of Theatre History Studies explores war. War is a paradox—horrifying and compelling, galvanizing and devastating, a phenomenon that separates and decimates while at the same time creating and strengthening national identity and community bonds. War is the stuff of great drama.
War and theatre is a subject of increasing popularity among scholars of theatre. The essays in this special edition of Theatre History Studies brings together a unique collection of work by thirteen innovative scholars whose work explores such topics as theatre performances during war times, theatre written and performed to resist war, and theatre that fosters and promotes war.
The contributors to this volume write poignantly about nationhood and about how war—through both propaganda and protest—defines a people. The contributors also delve into numerous fascinating themes that transcend time, peoples, nations, and particular conflicts: the foundations of nationalism and the concepts of occupied and occupier, nostalgia and utopia, and patriotism and revolution.
These essays survey a march of civil and international wars spanning three centuries. Arranged chronologically, they invite comparisons between themes and trace the development of the major themes of war. Ideas manifest in the theatre of one period recall ideologies and propaganda of the past, reflect those of the present, and anticipate wars to come.