Scholars, amateur historians and actors have shaped theatre history in different ways at different times and in different places. This Companion offers students and general readers a series of accessible and engaging essays on the key aspects of studying and writing theatre history. The diverse international team of contributors investigates how theatre history has been constructed, showing how historical facts are tied to political and artistic agendas and explaining why history matters to us. Beginning with an introduction to the central narrative that traditionally informs our understanding of what theatre is, the book then turns to alternative points of view - from other parts of the world and from the perspective of performers in fields such as music-theatre and circus. It concludes by looking at how history is written in the 'democratic' age of the Internet and offers a new perspective on theatre history in our globalised world.
David Wiles is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has published nine books, including Tragedy in Athens: Performance Space and Theatrical Meaning (1997), Greek Theatre Performance (2000), A Short History of Western Performance Space (2003) and Theatre and Citizenship: The History of a Practice (2010). His major areas of historical interest are Elizabethan and Greek theatre and his special interest in the theatre mask culminated in the publication of Mask and Performance in Greek Tragedy in 2007. His Greek Theatre Performance (2000) has been widely used by undergraduates. He has been shortlisted for Runciman, Criticos and STR prizes. He currently convenes the theatre historiography working group for the International Federation for Theatre Research. Christine Dymkowski is Professor of Drama and Theatre History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has a special interest in Edwardian theatre, feminist/women's theatre and the history of Shakespeare production within its wider cultural contexts. Co-founder of the working group on Feminist Theatre/Women in Theatre for the International Federation for Theatre Research, she has written numerous articles and papers on Lena Ashwell, Edith Craig, Cicely Hamilton, Susan Glaspell, Caryl Churchill, Sarah Daniels and Timberlake Wertenbaker. Her work on Shakespeare includes Harley Granville Barker: A Preface to Modern Shakespeare (1986); The Tempest in the Cambridge University Press Shakespeare in Production series (2000); 'Ancient [and Modern] Gower: Presenting Shakespeare's Pericles', in P. Butterworth (ed.), The Narrator, the Expositor and the Prompter in European Medieval Theatre (2007); and 'Measure for Measure: Shakespeare's twentieth-century play', in Shakespeare in Stages, which she co-edited with Christie Carson (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is also Theatre History editor of the forthcoming New Variorum Tempest.