Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-622-1
# of Pages: 4438
# of Volumes: 8
Print List Price: $599
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-639-9
eBook User Price: $599
Free Online Access
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Critical Survey of Drama

Editor, Carl Rollyson, Ph.D.
December 2017

The new third edition of The Critical Survey of Drama contains over 650 new and updated essays—over 550 discuss individual dramatists and nearly 100 cover important overview topics that are critical to the study of drama as a whole.

A CHOICE Top 75 Community College Resource for December 2018

The new third edition of The Critical Survey of Drama contains 638 new and updated essays—over 550 discuss individual dramatists and 60 cover important overview topics that are critical to the study of drama as a whole.

The 64 overview essays are arranged under broad subject headings in volumes 1 and 2. They cover dramatic traditions in the United States, the British Isles, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and other parts of the world, as well as various genres and techniques. Among the overview essays included in this edition are articles on Native American Drama, American Regional Theater, Asian Drama, Southeast Asian Drama, Melodrama, Deaf Theater, Feminist Theater, and many more.

Of the third edition’s 574 profiles of individual dramatists covered in volumes 2 through 8, 45 are completely new essays—mostly on playwrights who have recently come to be regarded as established figures in the theater. Some of the dramatists include:

  • Lynn Nottage
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Annie Baker
  • Doug Wright
  • Gina Gionfriddo
  • Hanna Moscovitch
  • Lisa D'Amour
  • Derek Ahonen
  • David Harrower

Every essay on a dramatist provides such ready reference material as birth and death dates and places and lists of their major dramatic works (with dates of first production and publication). Each essay opens with a brief survey of the author’s publications in literary forms other than drama, a summary of their professional achievements\and awards, an extended biographical sketch that centers on his or her development as a dramatist, and an extensive critical analysis of their major dramatic works. Each major analysis of a play is headed by the work’s title. Following this discussion is a list of major publications in fields other than drama and an annotated bibliography of critical works about the author.

The format of the articles is standardized to allow predictable and easy access to the types of information of interest to a variety of users. Each dramatist essay is broken into the following sections:

Principal Drama: Lists the author’s major plays through mid-2017, including titles and dates of production (pr.) and publication (pb.).

Other Literary Forms: Describes the author’s work in genres other than drama, helping students to identify those authors known primarily as dramatists, as opposed to those whose work in other genres has garnered equal or greater fame.

Achievements: Lists honors, awards, and other tangible recognitions, as well as a summation of the dramatist’s influence and contributions to drama and literature, where appropriate.

Biography: A condensed biographical sketch with vital information from birth through (if applicable) death or the author’s current activities.

Analysis: An overview of the dramatist’s favorite themes, genres, and development, leading into subsections on major plays or aspects of the person’s work as a dramatist.

Bibliography: Secondary print sources for further study, annotated to assist students and librarians in evaluating focus and usefulness. All these bibliographies have been updated and annotated.

Contributor Byline: Name of the original contributor of the article and that of the scholar who updated it, where relevant.

Appendix material in Volume 8 includes:

  • lists of major dramatic awards
  • detailed timeline of world drama history
  • a glossary of dramatic terms and movements
  • an annotated bibliography


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