This book seeks to bring to life the prolonged dawning of American drama, to outline America's continued quest for a national drama and theatre, and to provide a survey of the development of dramatic criticism in the United States. For more than a century, dramatists and critics alike were in search of a distinct American drama. Wolter reconstructs this search through the contemporary writing that reflected the attitudes and values of the period and attempted to define the future of the country's theatre. After a historical survey of theatrical criticism in America, Wolter provides a comprehensive anthology of representative texts on the state of America theatre prior to 1915. This is followed by a bibliography of more than 500 articles from over 150 years of American theatrical criticism. Augmented by an index of names and key terms referred to in the texts, the volume is an essential guide for scholars of American theatre and cultural history.
JURGEN C. WOLTER is a Professor at Bergische Universitat, Gesamthochschule Wuppertal. He has published extensively on American theatre in books and journals.