GVRL eBooks with articles on world theatre traditions:
Greek Comedy and Tragedy - Ancient Greece
Includes information on: the origin of the movement, representative authors, representative works, themes, style, variations in the movement, historical context, critical overview, criticism, sources, and suggestions for further reading.
Contents: Beginnings -- Athenian Old Comedy -- Aristophanes' background -- The first plays -- Formula for Old Comedies -- The Archarnians -- The Knights -- The Clouds -- The Wasps -- The Peace -- The Birds -- The Lysistrata -- Thesmophoriazusae -- The Frogs -- The Ecclesiazusae -- The Plutus -- Middle Comedy -- The Unearthing of Menander -- The Dyskolos -- Influence of New Comedy -- Sources.
Roman Comedy and Tragedy - Ancient Rome
Gives history and description of this classical Javanese dance-drama genre, along with a list of sources for further reading.
Cantonese, Yueju and Peking opera - China
Peking Opera and Regional Operas
Discusses Peking Opera and several regional operas, including Cantonese Opera, and includes a bibliography with suggestions for further reading.
Yuan Drama or Zaju - China
Theater Arts in Imperial China
Discusses the rise of drama in Imperial China, including that of the zaju (variety play) of the Song era (960-1279) and the variety plays of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368).
English Renaissance theatre - England
An introduction to Elizabethan drama, providing a glossary of important terms, and discussion of early acting companies, regulation of the plays, London and the first theaters, playwrights, and genres (comedies, history plays, tragedies, and romances). Includes a list of related books and websites for further reading.
Medieval Mystery Plays - England, France, Germany
Drama - India
An overview of the development of theater in India, with a list of sources for further reading.
Barong (or Rangda) Dance - Indonesia
Provides definition of the Barong dances of Bali, and gives a list of print sources for further reading.
Dance - Bali
Discussion of the various dance forms of Bali, including Jeroan dances, one of which is the kecak - a modern offshoot of sanghyang developed in the 1930s, which uses the chanting of traditional sanghyang as an accompaniment to theatrical dance using stories from the Ramayana epic. Includes list of sources for further reading.
Wayang Golek puppetry - Indonesia, Malaysia
Explains the two main genres of puppet theatre in West Java, Indonesia, that use wooden rod puppets: wayang golem cepak and wayang golem purwa. Includes list of sources for further reading.
Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry - Indonesia, Malaysia
Drama - Southeast Asia: Indonesia
Extensive discussion of the theater forms in Southeast Asia, including wayang kulit (leather shadow-puppet theater), still popular in the Javanese-speaking area of the island of Java. Includes list of sources for further reading.
Commedia Dell'arte - Italy
Defines Commedia dell'arte (a term applied to both the early Italian commercial theater in general and to a format institutionalized by sixteenth-century professional actors' improvisations on a three-act scenario), and gives examples of works and playwrights. Includes a bibliography of sources for further reading.
Discusses the history and characteristics of Bunraku, named after the theater manager Uemura Bunrakuken (1737–1810), the most revered of Japan's many forms of puppet theater (ningyo shibai). Includes an extensive list of sources for further reading.
Discusses the history and characteristics of Kabuki, one of two major forms of commercial theater created by actors and playwrights for audiences of urban commoners during the Edo or Tokugawa period (1600/1603–1868) in Japan. Includes an extensive list of sources for further reading.
Kyōgen farce and Noh theatre - Japan
Gives the history and a description of Noh, the highly refined Japanese theater form combining drama, dance, music, and poetry. An explanation of kyogen, the comic spoken dialogue plays performed between Noh plays or independently, is included, along with a list of sources for further reading.
Khon dance drama - Thailand
Drama - Thailand
Discusses the history and characteristics of the principal traditional dramatic genres of Thailand, including the khon (masked drama). Includes a list of sources for further reading.