New Zealand Literature Criticism: New Zealand Drama - Essay

Howard McNaughton (essay date 1981)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: McNaughton, Howard. “The Emergent Drama, 1840-1914.” In New Zealand Drama, pp. 15-27. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.

[In the following essay, McNaughton presents a survey of New Zealand drama from the late 1800s to the mid-twentieth century.]

When the systematic colonization of New Zealand began in 1840, the English and Scottish settlers faced a rugged, largely unexplored country. The six early townships were widely separated through the two major islands, and each settlement quickly established cultural idiosyncrasies which were to be fostered by isolation and parochialism. The indigenous Maori population had no theater form of its own, and the European...

(The entire section is 5363 words.)

Howard McNaughton (essay date 1981)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: McNaughton, Howard. “The Development of Poetic and Realistic Drama.” In New Zealand Drama, pp. 38-45. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.

[In the following essay, McNaughton surveys the work of several New Zealand playwrights who wrote during the time of World War II, including Allen Curnow, D'Arcy Cresswell, Ian Hamilton, Howard Wadman, and Claude Evans.]

World War II altered the character of most New Zealand theaters, changing the nature of the active membership but generally not reducing it. Unbalanced resources led to a period of conservatism in the larger civic theaters and a consequent resistance to local scripts, but the war years also saw a substantial...

(The entire section is 3245 words.)