Cover image for The Cambridge history of American theatre. Volume three, Post-World War II to the 1990s
The Cambridge history of American theatre. Volume three, Post-World War II to the 1990s
Wilmeth, Don B.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xviii, 582 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2221 .C37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This is an authoritative and wide-ranging history of American theatre in all its dimensions, from theatre building to playwriting, directors, performers, and designers. Engaging the theatre as a performance art, a cultural institution, and a fact of American social and political life, the history addresses the economic context that conditioned the drama presented. The history approaches its subject with a full awareness of relevant developments in literary criticism, cultural analysis, and performance theory. At the same time, it is designed to be an accessible, challenging narrative. All volumes include an extensive overview and timeline, followed by chapters on specific aspects of theatre. Volume Three examines the development of the theatre after World War II, through the productions of Broadway and beyond and into regional theatre across the country. Contributors also analyze new directions in theatre design, directing, and acting, as well as key plays and playwrights through the 1990s.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The scholarship and writing of this third and last volume of The Cambridge History of American Theatre are equal to that of the previous two volumes (CH, Sep'98, Feb'00). Wilmeth (Brown Univ.), Bigsby (Univ. of East Anglia, UK), and an outstanding group of topflight scholars have produced an impressive volume that covers playwriting from WW II to 1999, the development of off- (and off-off-) Broadway, new directions in design, directing, actor training, the formation of the regional-theater movement, alternative theaters, and the growing diversity of US theater. One would expect the volume to bemoan the decline of Broadway, yet the book celebrates the resilient nature of US theater--its growth and retraction and growth again. The volume also acknowledges the dominance of the playwright in shaping today's theatrical (and sometimes social) setting. The analysis of the works of contemporary playwrights is indeed first-rate and perhaps the strongest aspect of the volume. The format of the previous volumes remains: subheadings, time line, and complete bibliography. Joining The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre, ed. by Wilmeth and Tice Miller (CH, Jun'93), this three-volume set, now complete, is a must for all academic, professional, and large public libraries. M. D. Whitlatch; Buena Vista University

Table of Contents

Introduction Christopher Bigsby
Timeline: post-World War II to 1998Don B. Wilmeth and Jonathan Curley
1 American theatre in context: 1945- presentArnold Aronson
2 A changing theatre: Broadway to the regions Broadway Laurence Maslon
Off- and off-off Broadway Mel Gussow
Regional/resident theatre Martha Lomonaco
Alternative theatreMarvin Carlson
3 The plays and playwrights: plays and playwrights: 1945-1970 June Schlueter
Plays and playwrights since 1970Matthew Roudane
4 Musical theatre since World War IIJohn Degen
5 Directors and direction SamuelL. Leiter
6 Actors and actingFoster Hirsch
7 American theatre design since 1945Ronn Smith.