Theatre Reference

Featured on this page:

 Click above to read more about our featured selections, or below to browse!

A Better Class of Person: An Autobiography 1929-1956
by John Osborne
From the author of “Look Back in Anger, “Luther,” “Inadmissible Evidence” and many other contemporary standards. It had been years since Osborne’s plays had received a sympathetic hearing when he wrote his autobiography, and yet it was received as one of the best of its kind. See the second volume, “Almost a Gentleman,” below.
Further info or to order

The Abbey, Ireland’s National Theatre, 1904-1978
by Hugh Hunt
Further info or to order

Aboriginal Voices: Amerindian, Inuit, and Sami Theater (Paj Books)
by Per K. Brask (Editor), William Morgan (Editor)
Further info or to order

American Playwrights, 1880-1945: A Research and Production Sourcebook
by William W. Demastes (Editor)
Further info or to order

Art, Glitter, and Glitz: Mainstream Playwrights and Popular Theatre in
1920s America

by Arthur Gewirtz, James J. Kolb
The theatre and drama of the 1920s was a decade of experimentation and incubation for American playwrights coexisting with a flourishing and vibrant commercial theatre. The volume provides, in 22 essays, provocative, new readings of O’Neill, considerations of other mainstream playwrights, and an extraordinary gamut of articles on the popular theatre of the era.
Further info or to order

The Artistic Home: Discussions With Artistic Directors of America’s
Institutional Theatres

by Todd London
Further info or to order

Asking Around
by David Hare
The candid interviews that formed the basis for David Hare’s famed trilogy of plays about the state of Britain in the early 1990s. Asking Around is a record of the firsthand documentary research that provided the inspiration and source material for David Hare’s trilogy of plays, Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges, and The Absence of War. The trilogy examined the crises that faced three great British institutions — the Church, the Law, and the Labour Party — in the lead-up to the 1992 election that saw the Labour Party once again fail to defeat the Conservatives. Conducted over five years, Hare’s interviews are composed of informal conversations with a wide range of people — from unhappy vicars and police officers forced to put down strikes staged by their childhood friends, to judges and MPs — most of whom reveal a surprising awareness of and cynicism about the principles of their organizations.
Further info or to order

August Wilson and the African-American Odyssey
by Kim Pereira
Further info or to order

Banned Plays: Censorship Histories of 125 Stage Dramas
by Dawn B. Sova
Further info or to order

Between the Lines
by Judith Rudakoff (Editor), Lynn M. Thomson (Editor)
Provides an insider’s perspective on aspects of the art of dramaturgy. Included are conversations with Bill Glassco, Urjo Kareda, Maureen Labonte, Peter Hinton, Bob White, Jenny Munday, D.D. Kugler, Mark Bly, Michael Bigelow Dixon, Anne Cattaneo, Morgan Jenness, Shelby Jiggets and Norman Frisch.
Further info or to order

British Playwrights, 1956-1995: A Research and Production Sourcebook
by William W. Demastes (Editor)
Further info or to order

Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now
by Mark Steyn
The New Yorker: “A witty, anecdote-stuffed history of the past seventy years in musicals.”
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre
by Daniel O’Quinn
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Companion to Eugene O’Neill
by Michael Manheim
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw
by C. D. Innes
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Guide to African and Caribbean Theatre
by Errol Hill, George Woodyard (Editor), Martin Banham
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre
by Don B. Wilmeth (Editor), Tice L. Miller Upd Edition Expert Editor’s Recommended Book: An updated, corrected and expanded edition of the 1993 hardback, containing more than 2,300 listings for actors, writers, directors, plays, musicals, theatres, theatrical organizations and other must-know stage entries. The book also features some 100 topical features, covering theatre in major U.S. cities and other subjects (such as African American theatre, Hispanic theatre, criticism, costumes, puppets, circus, etc.). A highlight of this indispensable guide is a biographical index of more than 3,000 names.
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre
by James R. Brandon (Editor)
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Guide to Theater
by Martin Banham (Editor) New Edition
Further info or to order

The Cambridge History of American Theatre: Beginning to Post-Civil

by Don B. Wilmeth, Christopher Bigsby
Further info or to order

The Cambridge Illustrated History of British Theatre
by Simon Trussler
Further info or to order

Canadian Drama and the Critics
by L. W. Conolly (Editor), D. A. Hadfield (Editor)
Further info or to order

Chekhov: Letters About the Theatre
by Carol Rocamora (Translator)
Further info or to order

A Comfortable House: Lanford Wilson, Marshall W. Mason and the Circle
Repertory Theatre

by Philip Middleton Williams
Further info or to order

Companion to Theatre in Australia
by Philip Parsons (Editor), Victoria Chance (Editor)
Further info or to order

The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre
by Peter Found (Editor), Phyllis Hartnoll
2nd Edition
Further info or to order

Contemporary American Playwrights
by C. W. E. Bigsby
In this study Christopher Bigsby explores the works and influences of ten contemporary American playwrights: John Guare, Tina Howe, Tony Kushner, Emily Mann, Richard Nelson, Marsha Norman, David Rabe, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, and Lanford Wilson. He examines, in some detail, the developing careers of some of America’s most fascinating and original dramatic talent. In addition to well-known works, Bigsby discusses some of the latest plays to reach the stage.
Further info or to order

Dangerous Theatre: The Federal Theatre Project As a Forum for New Plays
by George Kazacoff
Further info or to order

David Hare (Writers and Their Work)
by Jeremy Ridgeman
A short, clear, critical study of David Hare’s work for theatre, film and television, concentrating on questions of staging, performance and narrative and dramatic form.
Further info or to order

Drama and Ideology in Modern Israel
by Glenda Abramson
Many political plays have been written in Israel over the past fifty years, and they are perceived, by audiences and critics, as major interventions in political debate. In this first full-length study Glenda Abramson shows that Israeli drama has been at the center of public controversies on many topics, including the ethical basis of Zionism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the wars and the Holocaust. Hanokh Levin, Yehoshua Sobol, Yosef Mundi and Miriam Kainy are among the playwrights examining Zionism as it affects contemporary Israeli society.
Further info or to order

Dramatists and Dramas
by Harold Bloom (Editor)
Further info or to order

A Documentary History of the African Theatre
by George A. Thompson
Further info or to order

The Dramatists Guild Resource Directory 2014: The Writers Guide to the Theatrical Marketplace
Further info or to order

Dumbocracy in America: Studies in the Theatre of Guilt, 1987-1994
by Robert Brustein
Further info or to order

Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim
by Geoffrey Holden Block
Further info or to order

The Encyclopedia of Stage Plays into Film
by John C. Tibbetts, James M. Welsh, John Staniunas (Editor)
Further info or to order

Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical “Follies”
by Ted Chapin
In 1971, college student Ted Chapin was in the right place at the right time. As a production assistant, or gofer, he found himself front row center at the creation of one of the greatest of all Broadway musicals: Follies. And since (as part of a college assignment) he kept a journal of everything he saw and heard, he was able to document — in unprecedented detail — how a musical is actually made.
Further info or to order

The Facts on File Companion to American Drama
by Jackson R. Bryer (Editor), Mary C. Hartig (Editor)
Further info or to order

The Fervent Years: The Group Theatre and the Thirties
by Harold Clurman
Further info or the order

The Great American Playwrights on the Screen: A Critical Guide to Film, TV,
Video and DVD

by Jerry Roberts
The Great American Playwrights on the Screen is a complete, up-to-date record of movie and television productions of classic and contemporary works of the great playwrights. Rich in historical value and detail, this reference book not only tracks Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, but also unearths unheralded treasures and forgotten performances by great actors and the great directors they served.
Further info or the order

Harold Pinter’s Politics: A Silence Beyond Echo
by Charles Grimes
Further info or to order

The History of Southern Drama
by Charles S. Watson
Further info or the order

History of the Theatre (10th Edition)
by Oscar G. Brockett & Franklin J. Hildy
Known as the “bible” of theatre history, Brockett and Hildy’s History of the Theatre is the most comprehensive and widely used survey of theatre history in the market. This 40th Anniversary Edition retains all of the traditional features that have made History of the Theatre the most successful text of its kind including worldwide coverage, more than 530 photos and illustrations, useful maps, and the expertise of Oscar G. Brockett and Franklin J. Hildy, two of the most widely respected theatre historians in the field. This tenth edition continues to provide the most thorough and accurate assessment of theatre history available and includes contemporary milestones in theatre history.
Further info or to order

Hot Seat: Theater Criticism for the New York Times, 1980-

by Frank Rich
They didn’t call him “The Butcher of Broadway” for nothing. With the stroke of a pen, longtime New York Times theater critic Frank Rich could make or break a Broadway show. “Hot Seat” is an encyclopedic collection of his writing, including opening-night reviews of Broadway shows and reflections on the careers of theatrical luminaries.
Further info or the order

Inside the Royal Court Theatre, 1956-1981: Artists Talk
by Gresdna A. Doty, Billy J. Harbin (Editor)
Further info or the order

In the House of Oshugbo: Critical Essays on Wole Soyinka
by Henry Louis, Jr. Gates (Editor)
Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is one of the most respected of the modern African playwrights. This collection of essays on his plays, poetry and poetics brings together an international list of drama critics including Richard Gilman, Eric Bentley and Robert Brustein, and such literary figures as Raymond Williams, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed and Imamu Baraka.
Further info or the order

In-Yer-Face Theatre: British Drama Today
by Aleks Sierz
A definitive look at a brash and provocative genre of contemporary British theater. In the 1990s, British theater audiences were shocked to see blatant portrayals of physical and psychological violence, murder, rape, incest, adultery, drug abuse, and homosexuality onstage. These confrontational and aggressive plays, written by young, honest, and uncompromising playwrights, came to be known as in-yer-face theater. With their use of obscene language, nudity, and even the performance of actual sex acts onstage, the playwrights in this genre intended to force people to think about and question their own desires and impulses.
Further info or the order

The Joint Stock Book: The Making of a Theatre Collective (Methuen Theatrefile)
by Rob Ritchie (Editor)
Further info or the order

Mapping South Asia through Contemporary Theatre: Essays on the Theatres of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka
Ashis Sengupta (Editor)
Probes the overlap of theatre, society and politics in contemporary South Asia, approaching theatre primarily in politico-aesthetic terms and locating it in the simultaneity of local, national and regional discourse. While re-mapping the region by examining enduring historical and cultural connections, the study discusses multiple traditions and practices of theatre and performance in five South Asian countries.
Further info or the order

Mark Ravenhill (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists)
by John F. Deeney
Mark Ravenhill is the first book to provide a detailed analysis of the work of arguably the most important dramatist to have emerged from the British theatre over the past twenty years.
Further info or to order

Millennial Stages: Essays and Reviews 2001-2005
by Robert Brustein

A major figure in the world of theater as critic, playwright, scholar, teacher, director, actor, and producer, Robert Brustein offers a unique perspective on the American stage and its artists. In this wise, witty, and wide-ranging collection of recent writings, Brustein examines crucial issues relating to theater in the post-9/11 years, analyzing specific plays, emerging and established performers, and theatrical production throughout the world. Brustein relates our theater to our society in a manner that reminds us why the performing arts matter.
Further info or to order

The Musical: A Concise History
by Kurt Ganzl
Further info or the order

The Musical Theater of Stephen Schwartz: From Godspell to Wicked and Beyond Hardcover
by Paul R. Laird
Further info or to order

The National Theatre Story
by Daniel Rosenthal
Draws on Daniel Rosenthal’s unprecedented access to the National Theatre’s own archives, unpublished correspondence and more than 100 new interviews with directors, playwrights and actors, including Olivier’s successors as Director (Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner), and other great figures from the last 50 years of British and American drama, among them Edward Albee, Alan Bennett, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, David Hare, Tony Kushner, Ian McKellen, Diana Rigg, Maggie Smith, Peter Shaffer, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Stoppard.
Further info or to order

Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops
by Ken Mandelbaum
From such legendary catastrophes as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Carrie” to the failures of Alan Jay Lerner and Rodgers and Hammerstein, this hilarious account of some “lost” theatre history provides stories of nearly 200 musical flops that played from 1950 to 1991. Framed by the 1988 megaflop Carrie , which theater buffs still speak of in hushed tones, the shows are presented thematically rather than chronologically, thus better underscoring the reasons for failure. While Mandelbaum can be scathing about mediocre material, he carefully analyzes each show, pointing out both problems and strengths, and demonstrates a keen insight into Broadway musical history. Brief synopses and fascinating backstage gossip combine with intelligent criticism and well-chosen illustrations to make this study a required addition to all theater collections. “As befits the subject, ‘Not Since Carrie’ is full of entertaining backstage reportage . . . The illustrations are also fun and wittily chosen, whether embarrassing production photos or sadly hopeful posters and advertising.” –Frank Rich, The New York Times/WQXR.
Further info or to order

Opening Nights: 25 Years of the Manhattan Theatre Club
by John W. Pereira
Further info or the order

Orphans’ Home: The Voice and Vision of Horton Foote
by Laurin Porter
A Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, an Emmy-winning television writer, and an Oscar-winning screenwriter of such notable films as To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, the amazingly versatile Horton Foote has been a force on the American cultural scene for more than fifty years. By critical consensus, Foote’s foremost achievement is the Orphans’ Home Cycle-a course of nine independent yet interlocking plays that traces the transformation of a small-town southern orphan, Horace Robedaux, into a husband, father, and patriarch. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including interviews with Foote, Laurin Porter demonstrates why the author’s masterpiece is a unique accomplishment not only in his personal oeurve but also in the canon of American drama.
Further info or the order

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre
by Gerald Bordman
Further info or the order

The Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre
by L.W. Conolly (Editor), Eugene Benson
Further info or the order

The Oxford Companion to the Theatre
by Phyllis Hartnoll (Editor)
Further info or the order

The Oxford Dictionary Of Plays
by Michael Patterson
Further info or to order

The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre
by John Russell Brown
Further info or the order

The Penguin Dictionary of the Theatre
by John Russell Taylor
Further info or the order

The Playbill Broadway Yearbook
by Robert Viagas (Editor)
Further info or to order

Playwrights of Color
by Meg Swanson, Robin Murray
Further info or the order

Plays Of Beth Henley: A Critical Study
by Gene A. Plunka
Elizabeth Becker Henley is a present-day dramatist whose 12 complete plays, three of which have been turned into films, have achieved worldwide production. At age 29 she produced her first full-length drama, Crimes of the Heart, which attained Pulitzer Prize status and garnered three Academy Award nominations as a film. Her Mississippi upbringing and her penchant for the eccentricities of southern culture, however, have caused critics to categorize her writing as a kind of southern gothic folklore inspired by feminist ideology. This book, the first critical study of Henley’s complete plays, attempts to dispel the common stereotypes that associate Henley’s work with regional drama and sociological treatises. It argues instead that Henley can best be perceived as a dramatist who delineates an existential despair manifested in various forms of what Freud calls the modern neurosis. The book maintains that Henley’s plays must be understood as universal statements about the angst of modern civilization, and Henley’s characters are assessed in light of Freud’s proposition that cultural restrictions create neurotic individuals.
Further info or to order

Poetics, Politics And Protest in Arab Theatre: The Bitter Cup And the Holy Rain
by Mas’ud Hamdan
Further info or to order

Right Brain Vacation Photos: New Plays and Production Photographs
from the Omaha Magic Theatre 1972 – 1992

by Jo Ann Schmidman, Sora Kimberlain, Megan Terry
Further info or the order

She Also Wrote Plays: An International Guide to Women Playwrights from the 10th to the 21st Century
by Susan Croft
Looking for plays by women to produce, perform, or read? She Also Wrote Plays is a comprehensive international guide to women playwrights and their work. In an attempt to make visible those who have often been obscured, the entries included herein provide biographical details on over four hundred writers, summaries of their major plays along with a list of other works, and a complete publication history, as well as an extensive, supplemental bibliography. The author, Susan Croft, includes writers whose work demonstrates the diversity and development of dramatic writing in English-speaking countries over the millennia. This diverse collection spans the tenth to the twenty-first centuries; the Americas to the Far East; and covers the works of well-known writers, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman, alongside the lesser-known dramatic adaptations of Jane Austen and Harriet Beecher Stowe and hard-to-find manuscripts, such as the unpublished translations of leading Finnish playwright Hella Wuolijoki. An essential tool for playwrights, performers, producers, and students, She Also Wrote Plays is for anyone interested in the cultural legacy of women in the theatrical world.
Further info or the order

State of the Nation
by Michael Billington
Further info or to order

Theatre Directory
by Theatre Communications Group
Further info or to order

Tony Kushner: New Essays on the Art And Politics of the Plays
by James Fisher (Editor)
11 scholars explore the works of Tony Kushner across his career. Several address Angels: one explores the presentation of homosexuality by Kushner compared to that of Tennessee Williams, who wrote in a less tolerant era; another places Angels in the contexts of Hegel’s concept of freedom and the gay revolution; a third discusses the play in terms of queer theory and politics. Homebody/Kabul is examined in two essays, one analyzing media reaction, the other exploring cultural and economic differences, religious fundamentalism and the “West’s luxurious predominance in the world.”
Further info or to order

Understanding Lillian Hellman (Understanding Series)
by Alice Griffin, Geraldine Thorsten
Further info or the order

Unleashing Britain: Theatre Gets Real, 1955-64
by Jim Fowler
Re-creating this era of constant flux, author Jim Fowler draws on the London Theatre Museum’s rich archive, celebrating a generation that reshaped British culture, including Harold Pinter, Peter Hall, Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, and Dudley Moore. The result is a telling portrait of a key period in modern theater, the influence of which can still be felt around the world.
Further info or to order

Video Versions: A Guide to Plays Available on Video
by Thomas L. Erskine (Editor), et al
Many of our favorite films began as plays — some as well known as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and some not so well known as You’ve Got Mail’s origin, a 1937 play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo. Video Versions identifies nearly 300 films and their theatrical origins, providing readers with an overview of the films and highlighting similarities and differences to the source plays. Perfect for teachers, students, and anyone interested in theater and film, it is the most complete resource available for video versions of plays.
Further info or the order

Wendy Wasserstein: Dramatizing Women, Their Choices And Their Boundaries
by Gail Ciociola
Although Wasserstein calls herself a humanist, her works reflect a political rhetoric, if cloaked in humor, that she herself could not imagine to be anything but feminist. Shaped by literal, cultural, and materialistic feminist theory, Wasserstein illustrates the impact of the women’s movement on the lives of her female characters. The five major works, with their near-sequel effect, let us see her characters’ college years, mid-twenties, mid-thirties and middle age. Through the use of a newly devised critical context called fem-en(act)ment, or textual or performance drama that is guided by feminist disposition thematically and stylistically, the author here allows for a fresh reading of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.
Further info or to order

Women’s Theatre Writing in Victorian Britain
by Katherine Newey
Further info or to order

The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Europe (Vol. 1)
by Don Rubin (Editor)
Further info or the order

The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Americas (Vol 2)
by Don Rubin
Further info or the order

Back to the store
To the E-script main page