Popular Theatre

Pantomime

A Sourcebook (Worlds of Performance)



Bertolt Brecht turned to cabaret; Ariane Mnouchkine went to the circus; Joan Littlewood wanted to open a palace of fun. These were a few of the directors who turned to popular theatre forms in the last century, and this sourcebook accounts for their attraction.

Popular theatre forms introduced in this sourcebook include cabaret, circus, puppetry, vaudeville, Indian jatra, political satire, and physical comedy. These entertainments are highly visual, itinerant, and readily understood by audiences.


Popular Theatre: A Sourcebook follows them around the world, from the bunraku puppetry of Japan to the masked topeng theatre of Bali to South African political satire, the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s comic melodramas, and a ‘Fun Palace’ proposed for London.

The book features essays from the archives of The Drama Review and other research.


Contributions by Roland Barthes, Hovey Burgess, Marvin Carlson, John Emigh, Dario Fo, Ron Jenkins, Joan Littlewood, Brooks McNamara, Richard Schechner, and others, offer some of the most important, informative, and lively writing available on popular theatre. Introducing both Western and non-Western popular theatre practices, the sourcebook provides access to theatrical forms which have delighted audiences and attracted stage artists around the world.


About the Author:

Joel Schechter is Professor of Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University. He is the author of several books on political satirists and circus clowns, including Durov’s Pig: Clowns, Politics and Theatre (1985), Satiric Impersonations (1994), and The Pickle Clowns (2001).


Popular Theatre

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