The story of modern drama is a tale of extremes, testing both audiences and actors to their limits through hostility and contrarianism. Spanning 1880 to the present, Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr shows how truly international a phenomenon modern drama has become, and how vibrant and diverse in both text and performance. This Very Short Introduction explores the major developments of modern drama, covering two decades per chapter, from early modernist theatre through post-war developments to more recent and contemporary theatre. Shepherd-Barr tracks the emergence of new theories from the likes of Brecht and Beckett alongside groundbreaking productions to illuminate the fascinating evolution of modern drama. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Shepherd-Barr manages to survey over a hundred years of Western drama in this pocket-sized book ... Providing a cursory, but considered, overview that introduces the reader to the richness and diversity of the topic in an engaging and readily comprehensible manner. That is no mean feat. Adrian Curtin, Studies in Theatre and Performance
Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr is Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. She is the author of Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett (Columbia University Press, 2015), Science on Stage: From Doctor Faustus to Copenhagen (Princeton University Press, 2006), and Ibsen and Early Modernist Theatre, 1890-1900 (Greenwood Press, 1997) as well as numerous articles on modern drama.