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.
Essays in part one of Theatre History Studies, Vol. 35 address theatrical production in very specific historical contexts, among them German theatre “from the rubble of Berlin” and German nationalist mass spectacles. Essays in part two are devoted to the theme of “Rethinking the Maternal” in contemporary and historical theatre. Also included is the Robert A. Schanke Award-winning essay “Whispers from a Silent Past: Inspiration and Memory in Natasha Tretheway’s Native Guard,” a keynote essay by Irma Mayorga, and eighteen reviews of new book publications of note.
Theatre History Studies, published since 1981 by the Mid-American Theatre Conference (MATC) is a leading scholarly publication in the field of theatrical history and theory. The conference encompasses the states of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The purpose of the conference is to unite persons and organizations within the region with an interest in theatre and to promote the growth and development of all forms of theatre.
A peer-reviewed journal of theatre history and scholarship published annually since 1981 by the Mid-American Theatre Conference.
Theatre History Studies is devoted to research in all areas of theatre studies, with special interest in archival research, historical documentation, and historiography. Many issues feature a special section curated around a special theme or topic; for 2017 that special section focus on histories of new writing for the theatre.
Featured in THEATRE HISTORY STUDIES 2017, VOLUME 36
“Resisting Arlecchino’s Mask: The Case of Marcello Moretti” by Gabrielle Houle
“Making Space for Performance: Theatrical-Architectural Nationalism in Postindependence Ghana” by David Afriyie Donkor
“Preparing Boys for War: J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan Enlists in World War I’s ‘Great Adventure’” by Laura Ferdinand Feldmeyer
“Not Just Rock ‘n’ Roll: Chicago Theatre, 1984–1990” by Julie Jackson
“New Writing and Theatre History” by Sara Freeman
“New Plays in New Tongues: Bilingualism and Immigration at the New Italian Theatre in France” by Matthew McMahan
“The Waterloo Summer of the Prince of Wales’s Theatre: New Writing, Old Friends, and Early Realism in the Victorian Theatre” by Shannon Epplett
“Chekhov’s Three Sisters: A Proto-Poststructuralist Experiment” by Sarah Wyman
“Historicizing Shakesfear and Translating Shakespeare Anew” by Lezlie C. Cross
“A New Noble Kinsmen: The Play On! Project and Making New Plays Out of Old” by Martine Kei Green-Rogers and Alex N. Vermillion
“Making New Theatre Together: The First Writers’ Group at the Royal Court Theatre and Its Legacy Within the Young Writers’ Programme” by Nicholas Holden
“New Writing in a Populist Context: A Play,a Pie, and a Pint” by Deana Nichols
“American Playwriting and the Now New” by Todd London
The Robert A. Schanke Award-Winning Essay: “Black Folk’s Theatre to Black Lives Matter: The Black Revolution on Campus” by La Donna L. Forsgren
Theatre has long been an art form of subterfuge and concealment. Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor, edited by Elizabeth A. Osborne and Christine Woodworth, brings attention to what goes on behind the scenes, challenging, and revising our understanding of work, theatre, and history.
Essays consider a range of historic moments and geographic locations—from African Americans’ performance of the cakewalk in Florida’s resort hotels during the Gilded Age to the UAW Union Theatre and striking automobile workers in post–World War II Detroit, to the struggle in the latter part of the twentieth century to finish an adaptation of Moby Dick for the stage before the memory of creator Rinde Eckert failed. Contributors incorporate methodologies and theories from fields as diverse as theatre history, work studies, legal studies, economics, and literature and draw on traditional archival materials, including performance texts and architectural structures, as well as less tangible material traces of stagecraft.
Working in the Wings looks at the ways in which workers' identities are shaped, influenced, and dictated by what they do; the traces left behind by workers whose contributions have been overwritten; the intersections between the sometimes repetitive and sometimes destructive process of creation and the end result—the play or performance; and the ways in which theatre affects the popular imagination. This collected volume draws attention to the significance of work in the theatre, encouraging a fresh examination of this important subject in the history of the theatre and beyond.