Aeschylus

Mark Fortier, Professor at the University of Guelph in Canada, provides an introduction to Aeschylus – a playwright often referred to as the father of tragedy. Fortier explores the influence of Greek mythology on Aeschylus’s key works, draws on contemporary examples and critical theory, and considers the impact of Greek tragedy on theatre and performance throughout history.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Anton Chekhov

Rhonda Blair, Professor in the Division of Theatre at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, provides an overview of the life of Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov. Blair considers how Chekhov’s plays capture the complexity and richness of human experience, affirming his place as one of the most influential writers of European theatre.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Audience

Professor of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University Dorothy Chansky provides an introduction to the role of the audience in relation to theatre and performance. Chansky examines how the perception of audience has changed throughout history and considers the way different forms of theatre offer further exploration into the audience as a performing phenomenon.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

August Wilson

Isaiah Wooden, Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at the American University, presents the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. Wooden examines Wilson’s internationally acclaimed 10-play Century Cycle, which explores African-American life, experience and history, making Wilson one of the most significant and influential American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Ben Jonson

Independent Scholar, Tobin Nellhaus, provides an overview of Renaissance playwright Ben Jonson. Nellhaus explores how Jonson was deeply influenced by classical literature, aiming to absorb their values and styles to address societal issues of his time, and how he succeeded to raise the status of drama in 17th-century Britain through the publishing of his works. 
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Caryl Churchill

Ed Madden, Theatre Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, introduces British playwright Caryl Churchill. Madden explores Churchill’s works in-depth and considers how her experimentation with language, the collaborative process with Joint Stock and the strong political and feminist content of her work has led her to become one of the greatest living dramatists in the UK.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Edward Albee

Theatre Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, Ed Madden, presents the history, aims and methods of the one of the greatest American dramatists, Edward Albee. Madden provides an in-depth analysis of Albee’s works, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and explores their concern with exposing the darkness, delusion and desperation that lie behind the façade of contemporary life.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Eugene O'Neill

Ed Madden, Theatre Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, provides an overview of the life and works of multi-award winning playwright Eugene O’Neill. Madden explores how O’Neill’s methods, such as the use of naturalism and expressionism in his plays, have impacted American drama, affirming his place as one of the most important and influential dramatists of the 20th century.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Eugenio Barba

Adam J. Ledger, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, introduces the internationally renowned director Eugenio Barba. Ledger details Barba’s role in the development of Odin Teatret and considers his interest in creating a theatre that changes perceptions and forges connections with audiences and communities.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Henrik Ibsen

Michael M. Chemers, Associate Professor of Dramatic Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, provides an overview of the life and works of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Chemers considers how Ibsen’s social-realist dramas defied conventional morality and compelled audiences to psychological introspection, affirming his place as one of the most influential dramatists of modern realism.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Intercultural Theatre

Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne Paul Rae provides an overview of intercultural theatre – a theatre which involves participants coming together from all over the world to share cultural forms, practices and worldviews. Rae details the history, theory and practice of intercultural theatre and refers to the work of key practitioners who have been influential in its development.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Irish Theatre

Professor at the National University of Ireland, Lionel Pilkington, offers an invaluable introduction to Irish Theatre. Referring to key playwrights and practitioners who have been instrumental in its development, such as Samuel Beckett, Pilkington provides an overview of the history, theory and practice of Irish Theatre, and emphasises its importance during a time of political and social unrest.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Jacques Copeau

Mark Evans, Professor of Theatre Training and Education at Coventry University, introduces French director and playwright Jacques Copeau. Evans explores Copeau’s vision for a theatre with a sense of social and moral purpose, emphasising the importance of collaboration and community, and examines his unique approach to actor training.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Jacques Lecoq

Rick Kemp, Professor of Acting and Directing at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, provides an overview of the life and work of renowned theatre practitioner, Jacques Lecoq. Famous for creating an approach that uses movement analysis, improvisation and collective creation to teach theatre, Lecoq’s work has, and continues to be, recognised and revered globally.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Julie Taymor

Marvin Carlson, the Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at CUNY, outlines the history, aims and practice of the Tony Award-winning director, Julie Taymor. Detailing her work, including the extremely successful Broadway creation, The Lion King, Carlson affirms Taymor’s position as one of the most innovative American directors of theatre, opera and film.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Katie Mitchell

Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham's Department of Drama and Theatre Arts Adam J. Ledger introduces the innovative and award-winning British theatre director Katie Mitchell. Exploring Mitchell’s experimental theatre methods, and the influence of psychology and the environment on her work, Ledger considers how her productions combine physical and emotional behaviour with theatrical imagery and inventiveness.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Mimesis

Independent scholar Tobin Nellhaus provides an introduction to mimesis – a concept that concerns the relationship between art and the world. Nellhaus explores how the term’s various meanings in relation to theatre and performance have developed over time, from ancient Greece to modern-day realism, and argues that no one approach can really cover every aspect or possibility of art.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Political Theatre

Emeritus Professor of Drama at Kingston University, Colin Chambers, provides an overview of Political Theatre – a term applied to theatre which refers to, comments on, or wishes its audience to intervene in political issues and events. Chambers explores the various definitions that Political Theatre has adopted over time and questions if theatre really has the power to change society.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Samuel Beckett

Professor of Drama at the University of Chester David Pattie outlines the history and practice of one of the 20th century’s most influential playwrights, Samuel Beckett. Pattie explores how Beckett's radical and minimalist approach to dramatic narrative and stagecraft has been instrumental in the development of contemporary theatre and performance.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Tennessee Williams

Theatre Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, Ed Madden, introduces the multi-award winning American playwright Tennessee Williams. Detailing the successes of The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Madden explores how Williams' aims and methods have greatly impacted the narrative of American drama.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

The Living Theatre

The Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at CUNY, Marvin Carlson, introduces the oldest experimental theatre group in the US, The Living Theatre. Carlson details how the company gained their reputation as a politically and socially engaged alternative theatre, and considers their continuous exploration of interaction with their audiences.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Tom Stoppard

Ed Madden, Director and Creative Associate at Gate Theatre, introduces British playwright Tom Stoppard. Madden explores key themes in Stoppard’s plays, from the value of art to the inevitability of death, and emphasises his influence and importance as a dramatist renowned for intellectual playfulness and theatrical dazzle.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Tony Kushner

The Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at CUNY, Marvin Carlson, introduces the multi-award winning playwright Tony Kushner. Covering history, methods and aims, Carlson provides an overview of Kushner’s works, collaborations and political impact, affirming his place as one of the most prominent and honoured contemporary American playwrights.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

William Butler Yeats

Mark Fortier, Professor at the University of Guelph in Canada, introduces poet, playwright and Nobel Prize winner for Literature, William Butler Yeats. Fortier provides an overview of Yeats’ history, aims and practice, detailing how his work was influenced by political issues, and emphasises the importance of his role in the development of Irish Theatre.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2017)

Anne Bogart

Marvin Carlson, the Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at CUNY, provides an introduction to American theatre and opera director Anne Bogart. Carlson explores Bogart’s role in co-founding one of the best-known experimental theatre companies in the US, SITI, and examines her popular approach to actor training, known as Viewpoints.
Encyclopedia Entry
(2018)