The Orient on the Victorian Stage examines the representation of the Middle East in a variety of nineteenth-century entertainment forms, such as paramas, melodrama, pantomime, ballet and opera. Ziter argues that changes in stage craft reflected the emerging idea that the significance of objects was evident in contextual relations, and relates the development of this stage craft to orientalist exhibitions and museum displays. Unlike other theatre histories and studies of orientalism, this book examines broader strategies of spatial representation and focuses on performance and popular culture. Ziter explores the plays and productions at a number of venues, including Drury Lane, Covent Garden, the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, and the British Museum, among others. The book also includes an analysis of Byron's image in the theatre and an analysis of his play Sardanapalus.
Edward Ziter is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at The Ohio State University. He has published articles in Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal and The Wordsworth Circle and in two anthologies, Land/Scape/Theatre: Views of the 20th Century and Living Displays. He has co-edited the reviews section of Theatre Journal.