Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater : 1930-2010
Booklist Reviews 2011 October #2
Part of the publisher's Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts, these volumes complement Historical Dictionary of American Theater: Modernism (2007). This particular set is focused on live American stage, not delving into musicals, television, and film. The dictionary provides information about the who, what, why, when, and how of American theater during the period 1930–2010. The author has more than 30 years of teaching theater and leading a theater department in higher education and has written two plays in addition to numerous articles, papers, and more. The dictionary is organized into three major sections: introductory information (acronyms and abbreviations and a chronology as well as an overview broken down by historical events or decades), the dictionary entries, and a bibliography. Entries are arranged alphabetically and include boldface words cross-referencing other entries in the dictionary. Ranging in length from a few paragraphs to several pages, the entries are written in a manner that does not assume a lot of prior knowledge about American theater. Major plays, playwrights, performers, theater companies and producing organizations, movements, and themes are among the topics that are covered. In the categorized bibliography, a table of contents assists the researcher in finding sources. Recommended for academic and public libraries. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2011 September #2
Fisher (theater, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro) here presents a broad survey of plays, playwrights, institutions, and cultural changes that have had an impact on the remarkable 80-year theatrical history covered in these two volumes. As usual with such texts, decisions had to be made as to what to include and, just as important, what to exclude. The "Reader's Note" that opens Volume I discusses the guidelines used to make such decisions. Of great value to students and general readers is the 20-page chronology, highlighting theatrical events and historical contexts. It is followed by an informative and readable 17-page introduction. Since this is a dictionary, not an encyclopedia, entries are relatively short and to the point, ranging from one-third of a page ("Bishop, Andre") to one page ("Chekov on the U.S. Stage"). BOTTOM LINE This set serves as an excellent companion to Fisher and Felicia Hardison Londré's Historical Dictionary of American Theater: Modernism (Scarecrow, 2007). An excellent resource for those needing definitions, clarifications, and a starting point for further research.—Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas, Galveston[Page 109]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.