Review by Choice Review
An encyclopedic guide to more than 600 notable plays, ancient Greece to the present. Entries, by distinguished international scholars, are signed and arranged alphabetically by title, Absurd Person Singular to Zoo Story. The work focuses on drama "as distinct from the other performing arts such as opera, dance, mime, the musical, performance art, and folk, ritual, and community theatre." The entries, a page or more in length, provide facts (e.g., first production dates, published texts, bibliography of secondary sources), but the bulk of the entry consists of a plot summary combined with an assessment of the play's importance. There are no character lists. The number, size, detail, and quality of the illustrations (all black-and-white) are excellent. Illustrations are often drawn from British productions, even for American plays--an advantage, since the pictures offer views not available in American sources--but in many illustrations, actors are not identified. Plays complements other works (e.g., J.T. Shipley's Crown Guide to the World's Great Plays, rev. ed., CH, Jun'85; Steve Fletcher's The Book of 1000 Plays, CH, Dec'89). Plays is the first of a projected three-volume set that will also cover playwrights (v.2) and actors, directors, and designers (v.3). Recommended as a perfect addition to undergraduate collections in the humanities. R. R. Centing; Ohio State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.