Global theatre history

Authored by: Nic Leonhardt

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429438233-61

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Abstract

Theatre is commonly thought of as (a) an immobile architectural building, (b) a play, (c) drama or performance (i.e. dance, music, or opera) put on stage, (d) an art form that epitomizes a particular culture at a specific point in time, and (d) belonging to a certain local or national arena. The notion and concept of global theatre history, or transnational theatre history, critically negotiates and questions this alleged immobility, the national character, and the idea of aesthetic representation. Such a concept seeks to illuminate the mobility, border-crossing qualities, and transnational or transregional artistic and aesthetic interweavings of theatre in historical times, particularly since the ‘first phase of globalization’ in the early nineteenth century. Global theatre history, or transnational theatre history, is a fairly new field of research, having entered historical theatre and performance studies less than a decade ago. It is still being established in the scholarly discourse of theatre and performance studies, and it is slowly being incorporated into the curricula of theatre and drama departments.

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