With just about fifteen minutes left of 2015, I wanted to get in just one final post. By the numbers, my blog views are down for this year, but hoping that that will change in 2016. Stay tuned for more on that.
But first, a book review. If theory is not your thing, then this review is not for you. If it is or if you’re curious, here is my take on a theory book I’ve been reading for the…semester…and just kind of skimmed the final two chapters so I could cross it off my list: Writing & Rewriting National Theatre Histories, a volume edited by S. E. Wilmer.
A somewhat-recent book (2004, so only 11-12 years), it details the process of theatre and its role in the creations and identities of different nations. There are thirteen chapters; the first two are introductory, and the remainder deal with one country each: Sweden, Russia, Slovenia, Belgium, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Israel, India, Indonesia and South Africa. I appreciate that it deals with some lesser-discussed countries like Belgium and Slovenia, but really, another chapter on the USA, Wilmer? And no chapters on the Caribbean, South America, or Africa (other than South Africa)?
Overall, it was an informative book. I’m not going to do a plot summary or a rundown, but if you’re looking for a jumping-off point for a world theatre-related paper or project, it’s here.
Some chapters I liked:
- Laurence Senelick, “Recovering Repressed Memories: Writing Russian Theatre History.” I liked it not just because I happened to meet Laurence Senelick when I randomly sat down at his table at the hotel restaurant at ASTR (I thought it was unoccupied since he had gone to the washroom and there was just a jacket there) and he offered to buy me dinner along with his friends. Any chapter that includes the word “arteriosclerotic” in the first sentence is a winner in my book. It was well-written and interesting, especially to someone who is currently not that interested in Russian theatre.
- Yael Zarhy-Levo and Freddie Rokem, “The Creation of a Canon: Re/Evaluating the National Identity of Israeli Drama.” First of all, Israeli theatre, yay. Second, they talk about a lot of plays I know and give some really insightful information into He Walked Through the Fields which is one of my play obsessions, along with Building Jerusalem and a few others.
I did not see a whole lot of books in the end notes for me to take a second look at, so there’s that at least. I’m just glad I have read it.
And now, the contest!
I’ve been meaning to connect more with blogging friends outside the world of blogging and send more snail mail. I miss having pen pals. So, the first 16 people to comment on this post with their email address will get an email from me asking for your snail mail address, and you will get a letter or postcard from me in January, probably sent when I get back to Wisconsin on the 14th but maybe sooner!
Happy new year, friends and readers, near and far!