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Theatres in the Round

Multi-ethnic, Indigenous, and Intertextual Dialogues in Drama


Edited By Dorothy Figueira and Marc Maufort

This collection of essays explores some of the avenues along which the field of comparative drama studies could be reconfigured at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It offers a comparative analysis of theatre across national and linguistic boundaries while simultaneously acknowledging newer trends in ethnic studies. Indeed, the contributors to this critical anthology productively combine traditional comparative literature methodologies with performance approaches and postcolonial perspectives. In this way, they shed new light on the intertextual, multi-ethnic, and cross-cultural dialogues linking theatrical traditions from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific region. This book’s broad scope bears testimony to the fact that transnational studies can fruitfully illuminate the multiple dramatic voices of our increasingly globalized age.


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Steven P. Sondrup Thoughts on the Origin of Nordic Drama 15


Thoughts on the Origin of Nordic Drama Steven P. SONDRUP Brigham Young University At the mention of Scandinavian drama, thoughts of many will almost automatically turn to the two towering giants of the nineteenth century, Ibsen in Norway and Strindberg in Sweden. With the possible exception of Ludvig Holberg, a Danish academic, satirist, and dramatist writing in the first half of the eighteenth century, dramatists of such renown at home and abroad have never been known in Scandinavia. Even during their lifetimes, their plays were performed all over the world, and they exerted enormous influence on contemporary theatrical practice. The impact they had is still abundantly apparent in the theater today as well as in cinematic techniques many of Strindberg’s dramas adumbrate. Although extremely prominent by any standard, they are heirs to the theatrical traditions that had been developing on the Continent since Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and had made their way to the northern fringe of Europe in the performances of traveling companies and the contact church-related and royal drama had with the rest of Europe. My intention is not to trace the trajectory that broadly European practices followed as they migrated northward across Europe, but rather to examine sources native to the region that might profitably be read as early manifestations of drama. The texts I wish to propose as origins of Indigenous and thus obviously non-Aristotelian drama are those usually called the poems of the Poetic Edda, The Elder Edda, or the Saemundr Edda. All three names...

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