Because of its contemporary coverage, this volume is particularly interesting and useful. . . . Reference collections that deal with theater questions could find it a good source even without its two predecessor volumes, but the set as a whole is recommended. Choice
An outstanding reference collection is completed with the publication of Durham's American Theatre Companies, 1931-1986, an indispensable guide to an aspect of American theatre not covered elsewhere. The American theatre has undergone a process of decentralization and the focus has shifted from Broadway, once the proving ground for all nationally known theatre talent, to fine regional theatres across the nation. This volume surveys the fifty-year period in which this transformation occurred. The work consists of seventy-eight entries that profile a wide range of types of theatre companies including art theatres, units of the Federal Theatre project, workers' theatre, experimental theatre groups, ethnic theatre groups, children's theatre companies, and regional repertory companies, large and small. The Profiles section contains information-packed narratives from both published and unpublished sources that describe, analyze, and evaluate management policies, facilities, personnel, and repertories of these organizations. Each entry contains an extensive list of key personnel, including managers, designers, actors, and actresses, as well as plays that company produced. A bibliography of sources and a guide to archival resources for further study follows each entry. Two additional appendices are devoted to chronological and state-by-state listings of theatre companies. The volume concludes with an index of personal names and play titles.
This important resource should be a part of every university's reference collection. It will be consulted by students and scholars of theatre and drama, American history, American popular culture, and American social and cultural history, as will its companion volumes American Theatre Companies, 1749-1887 (Greenwood Press, 1986) and American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930 (Greenwood Press, 1987).
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About the Author
WELDON B. DURHAM is Professor of Theatre and Associate Dean in the Graduate School of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr. Durham is general editor of American Theatre Companies, 1749-1887 (Greenwood Press, 1986) and American Theatre Companies 1888-1930 (Greenwood Press, 1987). His articles have appeared in and Theatre History Studies (of which he is also associate editor), Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Theatre Journal.
Table of Contents
Appendices: Chronology of Theatre Companies
Theatre Companies by State
Index of Personal Names and Play Titles