History of the Theatre

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Allyn and Bacon, 2003 - Performing Arts - 692 pages
2 Reviews

The Ninth Edition retains all of the traditional features that have made History of the Theatre a classic for over thirty years, including over 530 photos and illustrations, useful maps, and the expertise of Oscar Brockett, one of the most widely respected theatre historians in the field. Franklin J. Hildy contributes his scholarship and experience throughout the book and, in particular, to a discussion of English Theatre/Shakespeare (Ch. 5). Reorganized with more uniform chapter lengths and a clearer chronology, the ninth edition continues to provide the most thorough and accurate assessment of theatre history available. For anyone involved with, or interested in, the theatre.

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I gave this book 4 stars because, while it intends to be thorough, it seems to do nothing more than rattle on. It quickly becomes less of a "Bible" and more of a jumble of theatre history. I didn't think my professor was right when he said it's better to be good at one thing than so-so at many. That phrase can ring no truer than for this book. It is a lovely buffet of different backgrounds on theatre, but I found that when I tried to delve deeper into the subject (my focus was on theatre during the Elizabethan Era) there was hardly any information that helped shed light on the time-crucial subject. One thing worth mentioning is that this book has certain sections that discuss specific time periods thoroughly while skipping others altogether. :/  


Other Theories of Origin
Theatre and Drama
The Satyr Play

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About the author (2003)

Brockett is of the University of Texas at Austin.

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