BG -- Theater and Performing Arts

Theaterlexikon [Encyclopedia of the Theater]. Ed. C. Bernd Sucher. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag (dtv, ...) [99-1/4-268]

Vol. 1. Autoren, Regisseure, Schauspieler, Dramaturgen, Bühnenbildner, Kritiker [Authors, Directors, Actors, Dramaturgs, Set Designers, Critics]. Christine Dössel and Marietta Piekenbrock. 2d completely rev. and expanded ed. 1999. 795 p. 22 cm. (dtv, 3,322) ISBN 3-423-03322-3: DM 48.00

Vol. 2. Epochen, Ensembles, Figuren, Spielformen, Begriffe, Theorien [Periods, Ensembles, Characters, Genres, Concepts, Theories]. Theo Girshausen. 1996. 484 p. 19 cm. (dtv, 3,323) ISBN 3-423-03323-1: DM 34.00

This encyclopedia is divided into two volumes, one for articles about important personages in the theater, and the other dealing with history, concepts, and theory. The first volume is a subjective selection of individuals important in the legitimate theater of Germany since 1945. The number of references to figures in dance theater, cabaret, variety, and other forms of theater is limited. Foreigners are included only if they are known in the German-speaking world. Subjectivity is also apparent in the author's concentration on individuals from the southern part of Germany and from the city of Hamburg. Selectivity aside, however, this volume does fill a gap left by other works, such as Deutsches Theaterlexikon (1953-1998) and Brauneck's Theaterlexikon (1992), in that it includes contemporary figures. The second volume puts more emphasis on international coverage and theater history, even though it concentrates on contemporary theater. The articles on theory (although they deal also with the more modern theater) are welcome because they are for the most part missing in Brauneck's Theaterlexikon. [ps/mjc]

Schauspielführer der Gegenwart: 202 Autoren und 1148 Stücke [Guide to Contemporary Plays: 202 Playwrights and 1,148 Plays]. Siegfried Kienzle. 6th rev. ed. Stuttgart: Kröner, 1999. vii, 824 p. 18cm. (Kröners Taschenausgabe, 369) ISBN 3-520-36906-0: DM 49.80 [99-1/4-272]

The German stage was a busy place in the 1990s. Many young, previously unknown authors, above all Anglo-American writers, came into the spotlight, their works giving expression to a range of social problems. The sixth edition of Kienzle's Schauspielführer der Gegenwart does justice to this rich content. Kienzle's is a trusted reference work that began in 1966 under the title Modernes Welttheater. The sixth edition has entries for 1,148 plays by 202 authors. The publisher justifiably claims that this is the most complete survey of the drama after 1945.

The sixth edition follows the organizational principles of the earlier volumes. Authors are listed alphabetically, with a brief biography and selected references for each. There is a summary statement about the totality of their work. Individual plays then are listed and interpreted in order of the date of first performance. Articles that appeared in earlier editions of Kienzle have been revised and brought up to date.

Alan Ayckbourn, who is much performed in Germany, makes it into the list, as do Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, and the Germans Werner Schwab, Einar Schleef, Harald Kislinger, and others. Kienzle certainly has achieved the goal of currency. The most recent work discussed dates from May 27, 1999. But as a result, some authors whose works are now not frequently performed have been omitted; certain writers treated previously are not listed in this sixth edition. The new Kienzle edition is thus no longer a history of the post-war theater; it is rather a list of the works most frequently performed between 1990 and 1999. For this reason, libraries should retain earlier editions of this work. [geg/jbr]

Nigerian Theatre in English: A Critical Bibliography. Chris Dunton. London; München: Zell, 1998. ix, 366 p. 24 cm. (Bibliographical Research in African Literatures, 5) ISBN 1-873836-71-6: £60.00 [99-1/4-283]

Nigeria is not only the most populous country of Africa, but also the home of a number of world-famous authors. Of these Wole Soyinka (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1986) is the best known. Soyinka is of course well represented in this specialty bibliography, which lists and evaluates some 528 individual plays, devoting on average about half a page to each. A very useful index organizes the plays by theme and by genre. Two separate indexes at the end list the names of the playwrights and the names of the works discussed. An annotated bibliography of selected secondary literature is also included. [sh/jbr]

International Bibliography on Puppetry: English Books 1945-1990 = Bibliographie internationale de la marionnette. Geneviève Leleu-Rouvray and Gladys Langevin. Institut International de la Marionnette. München [et al.]: Saur, 1993. xxxii, 281 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-598-22651-9: DM 148.00 [99-1/4-287]

Bibliographie internationale de la marionnette: ouvrages en français 1945-1996 = International Bibliography on Puppetry. Geneviève Leleu-Rouvray, Gladys Langevin, Bernard Grelle. Institut International de la Marionnette. Charleville-Mézières: Editions Institut International de la Marionnette, 1997. liii, 775 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 2-9505282-4-4: FF 150.00. (Institut ..., 7 place Winston Churchill, F-08000 Charleville-Mézières) [99-1/4-288]

Since its founding in 1981, the Institut International de la Marionnette has striven to maintain an international bibliography of puppetry. A bibliography of German-language articles on puppet theater appeared in 1982. This is now supplemented by the two present volumes of anglophone and Francophone articles on puppetry. Based on a database created by the Institut, these bibliographies cover the years 1945-1990 (English) and 1945-1996 (French).

The volume of English-language works is divided into three parts. Part 1 lists works of a general nature, including reference works, broad-based monographs, as well as books on the theory, sociology, semiology, history, repertory, and technique of puppetry. Part 2 is concerned with the traditional forms of puppet theater and with traditional puppet figures, such as the various versions of Caspar, Punch, and Karagöz. The rich tradition of East Asian puppet theater is noticeable by its absence. Part 3 offers information on various puppet forms, from finger puppets and marionettes to cardboard and silhouette puppets, this time including East Asian forms.

Unfortunately, the French-language volume is organized differently from the English-language volume, making it difficult to use the two conjointly. It is hard to imagine how the subject matter could have required this outcome. Parts 1 and 2 of the French volume display the same organization as the English, but the subdivisions are different. Part 3 of the French title treats the relationship of marionette theater to other fields and includes chapters on the arts, pedagogy, literature, leisure studies, therapy, and politics. Part 4 deals with the traditional marionette theater. Part 5 devotes some twenty-six chapters to the various types of puppet theater, and also deals with silhouette theater.

The entries are consecutively numbered and contain complete bibliographical information. Some are annotated and list translations and holding locations in French and foreign libraries. The various appendices and indexes in the two volumes differ only slightly from one another. Both have a list of holding libraries or institutions. There is an English-French thematic glossary, as well as a general index of authors and contributors, titles, and keywords.

Both bibliographies are important sources of information for professionals, puppeteers, and interested lay readers. Alas, neither volume takes account of very recent developments in which puppet theater crosses over into dance, performance art, and film. [ps,sh/jbr]

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Last update: July 31, 2000 [RD]
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