The World of Theatre: An Account of the World's Theatre Seasons 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002

The World of Theatre: An Account of the World's Theatre Seasons 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002

The World of Theatre: An Account of the World's Theatre Seasons 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002

The World of Theatre: An Account of the World's Theatre Seasons 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002


The latest edition of "World of Theatre offers a close-up view of the most significant productions and theatre trends in over 60 countries. Covering the past three seasons, from 1999 through 2002, the fully illustrated volume explores the diversity of the current global dramatic scene, ranging from magisterial round-ups by leading critics in Europe and North America-to what are sometimes, literally, reports from the battlefield in war-torn countries such as Congo or Yugoslavia.


The last, Millennial edition of The World of Theatre represented a great leap forward for a publication that has been part of the International Theatre Institute's furniture for nearly twenty years now. Not only was it produced, to a higher standard than ever, by the Bangladesh ITI Centre for the use of the Institute's member Centres; it was also, for the first time, commercially published for the wider world by Routledge. Perhaps as a result of this, the book is beginning to emerge from shy obscurity into the limelight: Theatre Notebook, the leading journal of theatre scholarship in Britain, noted that it 'contains more information than any other single source, on activities from Argentina to Wales', calling it 'vastly informative and handsomely produced'. It is to be hoped that this edition will deserve a similar reaction.

What The World of Theatre sets out to do is to present a picture of the most recent theatre seasons in as many countries of the world as possible, in authoritative articles. The first source of these is the network of ITI Centres listed at the back of this book, nearly ninety of them, many of whom have commissioned leading authorities in their countries. Not all of those Centres are fully active, however, and there are some of them who have not been able to send reports out of sheer hardship, or worse.

Another valuable group of contributors has come from the parallel network of the International Association of Theatre Critics, of which I have the honour to be President - a position which has given me the possibility of gently twisting a few arms. Many of the ITI contributors are also IATC members: we are an organisation in cordial relationship with ITI, which represents our interests to UNESCO. Finally, I have been able to call on friends, and friends of friends, whom I have met over a long time of working in the field of international theatre, and who have once more come to my rescue with a generosity typical of true theatre people.

The result of this is that while not all ITI member countries appear in these pages (although you may find information about their activities in the long diary of ITI events at the end of the book), there are in compensation reports from major theatre nations, such as Brazil or South Africa, which do not have ITI Centres. The book is getting ever closer to achieving its aim, of recording the theatre of the whole world. Newcomers not in the last edition include Austria, Belarus, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ghana, Italy, Jamaica, Moldova, Nepal, the Netherlands and Singapore.

I have borne in mind that many of the readers of this book will not have English as their first language, and in places my attempts to simplify some complex aspects of critical theory may have rendered them less meaningful - possibly meaningless - for which the eminent contributors have my unreserved apologies.

The length and the emphasis of the articles vary as much as the theatre situations they describe. The articles on Germany and the USA, for instance, are relatively short, since their theatre scene is not unknown. England gets rather less coverage than her sister democracies Scotland and Wales, each boasting a completely separate theatre tradition. Hong Kong theatre has almost as long a section as its parent, China, because it has not been covered before. Accounts of new writing in the Western tradition show common trends, such as the rise of what the English call 'in-yer-face', the Germans 'blood and sperm' plays - the names of Sarah Kane, Marius von Mayenburg and Dejan Dukovski

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