Ackerman, Alan L. The Portable Theater: American Literature and the Nineteenth Century Stage. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. Investigates the central importance and representation of the stage in the works of Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry James and discusses the subtle genre shift from melodrama to quiet realism during the nineteenth century.
Adams, Joseph Quincy. Shakespearean Playhouses: A History of English Theatres from the Beginnings to the Restoration. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1917. Reprint. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1960. Classic scholarly work that is still basically reliable.
Agnew, Jean-Christophe. Worlds Apart: The Market and the Theatre in Anglo-American Thoughts, 1550-1750. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Specialized study of commercial aspects involved in theater production.
Albright, Victor E. The Shakespearean Stage. New York: Columbia University Press, 1909. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1965. Once-influential account of the theater. Although dated, it is still generally sound.
Bentley, Eric. What Is Theater? New York: Atheneum, 1968. Compilation of dramatic reviews, from 1944 to 1967, together with “The Dramatic Event”—important documents in the history of the modern theater.
Bentley, Gerald Eades. The Jacobean and Caroline Stage. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1941-1968. 7 vols. Multivolume work that is still generally reliable.
Bentley, Gerald Eades, ed. The Seventeenth-Century Stage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968. Collection of essays such as “Shakespeare’s Celibate Stage” by Michael Jamieson, “Elizabethan Actors: Men or Marionettes?” by Marvin Rosenberg, and “The Numbers of Actors in Shakespeare’s Early Plays” by William A. Ringler, Jr.
Besset, Jean-Marie, et al. Gay Plays: An International Anthology. New York: Ubu Repertory Theater Publications, 1989. The preface, by Catherine Temerson and Francoise Kourilsky, sets the critical background for such works as Besset’s The Function, Copi’s A Tower Near Paris, and Hervé Dupuis’ The Return of the Young Hyppolytus.
Booth, Michael R. Victorian Spectacular Theatre, 1850-1910. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981. Treats such topics as spectacle, melodrama, and pantomime.
Bordman, Gerald Martin. American Musical Theater: A Chronicle. 3d ed. London: Oxford University Press, 2000. Surveys the range of musical theater and its development, from the early eighteenth century through the 1999-2000 Broadway season. Includes analysis of non-Broadway productions, trends and themes, and provides several useful indices.
Boughner, Daniel C. The Braggart in Renaissance Comedy: A Study in Comparative Drama from Aristophanes to Shakespeare. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1954. Specialized scholarly criticism that illuminates certain conventions.
Bradbrook, M. C. The Rise of the Common Player: A Study of Actor and Society in Shakespeare’s England. London: Chatto and Windus, 1962. Great work of scholarly reconstruction.
Bradby, David, Louis James, and Bernard Sharratt, eds. Performance and Politics in Popular Drama: Aspects of Popular Entertainment in Theatre, Film, and Television, 1800-1976. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Especially useful to historians of the drama; valuable essay on spectacle, performance, and audience in nineteenth century theater, as well as essays on many specialized topics, such as water drama, by notable scholars.
Brandt, George W., ed. Modern Theories of Drama: A Selection of Writings on Drama and Theatre, 1840-1990. London: Oxford University Press, 1997. Chronicles the development of dramatic theory over the course of 150 years, examining theories that have grown outdated and some that have been resurrected from history.
Brockett, Oscar Gross, and Robert R. Findlay. Century of Innovation: A History of American and European Theatre and Drama Since the Late Nineteenth Century. 2d ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1991. Examines the rise of a number of genres, including realism, expressionism, and Surrealism; drama between the two World Wars, and mid- to late twentieth century dramatic developments.
Burroughs, Catherine. Women in British Romantic Theatre: Drama, Performance, and Society, 1790-1840. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Eleven essays explore the vast contributions of female playwrights, actors, translators, critics, and managers who worked in British theater during the Romantic era and question why they faded in importance.
Butsch, Richard. The Making of American Audiences: From Stage to Television, 1750-1990. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Analyzes the evolution of audiences’ theatrical tastes as the dramatic art form simultaneously evolved from melodrama, minstrelsy, and vaudeville, to movies, radio, and television.
Campbell, Lily Bess. Scenes and Machines on the English Stage During the Renaissance: A Classical Revival. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1923. Classic study that treats English and Italian stage decoration at different times, from the sixteenth century to post-Restoration.
Cerasano, Susan P., and Marion Wynne-Davies. Reading in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance, 1594-1998. London: Routledge, 1998. Focuses on contemporary critical reaction to women’s drama, examining the way in which the critical history of the Renaissance woman dramatist has developed, the social context from which Renaissance women dramatists arose, and the contributions of individual female dramatists.
Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1923. Famous scholarly work that is still generally reliable.
Chambers, E. K. The Medieval Stage. 2 vols. London: Oxford University Press, 1903. Classic, comprehensive history of the drama and staging of the Middle Ages.
Clark, Barrett Harper, and George Freedley, eds. A History of Modern Drama. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1947. Treats the drama of England, Ireland, and the United States, as well as Continental drama.
Conolly, L. W. The Censorship of English Drama, 1737-1824. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1976. Specialized scholarly work that helps the reader understand problems in the playwright’s licensing of plays.
Cook, Ann Jennalie. The Privileged Playgoers of Shakespeare’s London, 1576-1642. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981. Specialized study on aspects of the elite class who attended the theater.
Cunningham, Peter, ed. Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels, in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I. London: The Shakespeare Society, 1842. Reprint. New York: Kraus Reprint, 1966. In spite of its date of publication, this classic text is still useful for its reproductions of the original “Office Books of the Masters and Yeomen.”
Dent, Thomas C., Richard Schechner, and Gilbert Moses, eds. The Free Southern Theater by the Free Southern Theater: A Documentary of the South’s Radical Black Theater, with Journals, Letters, Poetry, Essays, and a Play Written by Those Who Built It. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1969. As the title reflects, this volume examines black theater in the South.
Dobbs, Brian. Drury Lane: Three Centuries of the Theatre Royal, 1663-1971. London: Cassell, 1972. Surveys the theater from “Royal Favours” of the seventeenth century to “Shows and Stars 1939-71.”
Donohue, Joseph. Theatre in the Age of Kean. Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell, 1975. Treats topics from “The Demise of Sheridan’s Theatre” to “The Age of Kean and Its Prospects.”
Dutton, Richard. Mastering the Revels: The Regulation and Censorship of English Renaissance Drama. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991. Scholarly study that grew out of Dutton’s research on Ben Jonson.
Elsom, John. Erotic Theatre. New York: Taplinger, 1974. Contains an introduction by John Trevelyan. Covers a wide range of topics, from eroticism to theatrical performances.
Elsom, John. Post-War British Theatre. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976. “Language and Money,” “The Search for Self,” and “Breaking Out: The Angry Plays” are some of the chapters in this study.
Evans, Chad. Frontier Theatre. Victoria, British Columbia: Sono Nis Press, 1983. Scholarly study of such topics as “Early Amateur Theatricals,” “Troupes of the Gold Era,” and “The Northwest Reflection.” Evans also discusses opera and the circus.
Evans, G. Blakemore, ed. Elizabethan-Jacobean Drama: The Theatre in Its Time. New York: New Amsterdam, 1988. Contains discussions of London theaters, repertories, and the underworld. The sober text is enlivened by thirty black-and-white illustrations, some of them reproduced for the first time.
Flaumenhaft, Mera J. The Civic Spectacle: Essays on Drama and Community. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1994. In examining the plays of Aeschylus, Euripides, Machiavelli, and Shakespeare, Flaumenhaft argues that by revising well-known myths or histories, each of these playwrights...
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