The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, Volume 2

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Gabrielle H. Cody, Evert Sprinchorn
Columbia University Press, 2007 - Drama - 1721 pages
2 Reviews
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A wholly unique A to Z reference for modern drama, this authoritative encyclopedia differs from others in highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of drama by placing playwrights and plays within their social, cultural, and historical contexts. Over 450 leading scholars provide students, general readers, and scholars with clearly written and concise entries that steer clear of technical jargon while also offering advanced readers new perspectives on familiar figures, movements, trends, issues, and texts. The Encyclopedia concentrates on drama in the literary sense rather than as performance. The scope of this encyclopedia is truly global. The editors follow the development of modern theater in both Western Europe (England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Ireland, France, Spain) and Eastern Europe; in Russia, China, Japan, India, and all of Southeast Asia; in Australia and New Zealand; in the United States and Canada; in Latin America, Africa, and in the Yiddish language. Entries are at least 500 words, richly researched and innovatively written. In "Brecht" the playwright's central themes and theories on theater are contextualized within the story of his exile, which paints a larger portrait of the cultural and political state of Europe at the time. In "Spain" the stories of certain theaters and prominent playwrights, such as Federico Garcia Lorca, are woven within the history of the country itself. And a colorful look at "Off Broadway" emphasizes the importance of theater economics and reveals its influence in shaping the development of drama. The history of modern drama is quickly becoming a popular area of study. The Encyclopedia of Modern Drama is a comprehensive and original approach to understanding this history and a powerful tool in reinforcing the vital role of drama in the intellectual and artistic life of the last 150 years [Publisher description]

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I have both volumes of this encyclopedia, and I have nothing but praise for it. I refer to it more often than any other book or books I have on the theater. I feel it was well worth the money spent.

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This reference is inaccurate in its description of the play "Dear Yelena Sergeevna" by Lyudmila Razumovskaya. This book asserts that play ends with the suicide of the teacher; the end is, in fact, left ambiguous.

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