‘May well turn out to be the most important study of all facets of theatre to be published in this century’ — Stage
Volume I in the Stage by Stage series which chronicles world theatre from primitive rites and enactments of myths to contemporary drama.
The Birth of Theatre traces the evolution of classical drama from its beginnings in Egyptian and middle eastern religious ritual and particularly the Greek mystical cult of Dionysus, through the golden age of the Periclean period in Athens, and ending with the major Roman playwrights of the late republican and early imperial age.
The book includes detailed discussions of the extant plays — tragedies and comedies — of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. This is followed by accounts of notable productions and revivals, especially in the USA and Britain over the past fifty years and earlier where descriptions or assessments are available. The book moves on to discuss the development of Middle and New Comedy in Greece and the works of Plautus, Terence and Horace. The product of vast learning, enormous research and, above all, a passion for theatre, these volumes represent a unique and extraordinary achievement in the literature of the stage.
‘Excellent . . .The richness is in the details, and nothing is omitted’ — Publishers Weekly
‘An accessible, non-judgmental, enjoyable introduction to Greek and Roman theatre, told with enthusiasm as well as scholarship.’ — Nottingham Evening Post
PHILIP FREUND (1909–2008) was a writer and theatre historian, best known for the 9,000 page series on the history of theatre entitled Stage By Stage, regarded as among the most important and original studies of theatre history ever written. A true polymath who could discourse, lecture and write knowledgeably on a wealth of subjects, Freund would write novels, short stories, essays, plays, works of literary criticism and, perhaps most remarkably, with Myths of Creation (1963), a work of anthropology that ranks alongside the classics in its field. He died in 2008 at the age of 98.
|Date Published||13th June 2003|