The Oxford encyclopedia of theatre & performance /

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Bibliographic Details
Imprint:Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2003.
Description:2 v. (li, vi, 1559 p.) : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
Subject:Theater -- Encyclopedias.
Performing arts -- Encyclopedias.
Performing arts.
Reference works.
Format: E-Resource Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Kennedy, Dennis, 1940-
0198606729 (V. 1)
0198606710 (V. 2)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Also available on the Internet.
Review by Choice Review

Kennedy (Univ. of Dublin, Trinity College) builds this excellent reference around 4,300 alphabetized, signed, and richly cross-referenced entries. It includes several unique features: an invaluable thematic table of contents; a brief international time line; a selective index of dramatic titles; and a selective bibliography. Editorial choices provide international coverage that is balanced and thorough. The broad content provides a strong sense of traditional and nontraditional theater and selective performance categories (opera, radio, dance, film). Entries for theatrical concepts and for many terms reflect theoretical and historiographical trends of the past several decades, yet entries on individuals, theaters, and related institutions remain essentially historical in coverage. Many entries, although updated, replicate those in The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, ed. by Martin Banham (2nd ed., 1995), especially for theater in the US, where only a handful of entries are unique. Comparisons with CGT are inevitable, and key differences stand out. For example, Oxford includes a sizable number of entries on theatrically rich cities, whereas CGT prefers lengthy entries on virtually all countries or areas of the world that treat specific matters which Oxford gives individual entries (CGT has about 3,400 entries). Oxford has 200 contributors; Cambridge, 162. Despite its two-volume format, Oxford appears to be only a few thousand words longer (not counting its added features, 78 p.). Neither has the number of illustrations one would like. Entries overlap and often provide different perspectives on the same topics. Oxford offers broad performance coverage and inclusion of terms, concepts, and theatrical practice absent from CGT. Oxford's price may give pause, but both should be part of all good reference sections. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All academic collections. D. B. Wilmeth Brown University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review