Literature Review: Theatre In Crisis? - Maria M. Delgado & Caridad Svich

'Theatre In Crisis? Performance Menifestos for a New Century.' Edited by Maria M. Delgado & Caridad Svich. Published by Manchester University Press, 2002

·         Who is the author/authors/publishers of the text?
There are several authors of the various manifestos throughout the book, however the credited editors are Maria M. Delgado and Caridad Svich.

Published by Manchester University Press.

·         When was the text written?
The various manifestos have been compiled over the last years of the 20th Century and the earliest of the 21st: the book in its present form was first published in 2002

·         Where was the text written/produced? Published by Manchester University Press

Maria M. Delgado is a Reader in Drama and Theatre Arts at Queen Mary University, London

Caridad Svich is an international theatre practitioner and is a member of New Dramatists in New York.

·         Who is the intended audience for the text?
“…those people who practice theatre to have a dialogue with those who think and write about it… The books in this series are aimed at students, scholars, practitioners and theatre-visiting readers.”

·         What are the authors’/publishers intentions in relation to the reader?
         “… [to] encourage reassessments of periods, companies and figures in twentieth-century and twenty-first-century theatre history, and provoke and take up discussions of cultural strategies and legacies that recognise the heterogeneity of performance studies. ”

·         What is the writers’/publishers’ own position in relation to the subject being written about?
Maria M. Delgado is an editor of plays, has edited Contemporary Theatre Review, and co-edited several publications for Manchester University Press on the subject of theatre. “She is the author of numerous articles on contemporary theatre practice and a translator of dramatists… [and] A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts…”

“Caridad Svich is a playwright-songwriter-translator.” She has worked in theatre across several continents and “her work has been seen at theatres in Britain, Belgium and Canada. She has taught playwrighting… [and] is the co-editor of…” several contemporary theatre anthologies, magazines and compilations.

·         What assumptions are the authors/publishers making, and how does this text invite the reader to share them? The fact that the book is published by Manchester University Press indicates that this is aimed at a more intellectual level than the casual theatre observer. The articles and manifestos cover several different styles, points of view and cultural influences, leading to no one assumption or conclusion, but a rounded investigation of the various implications of theatre and its practice across society.

·         What is the style of writing of the text, and how does this influence the reading?
The writing is very academic, pitched at the level of serious students or investigative research. The reading is quite in-depth and requires a level of serious focus. However, due to the large amount of relatively short manifestos or articles, it was easy to read in lots of short bursts.

Making Notes!

Despite this book being published outside of the specific time period I am focussing on, it is useful for me to gain an insight into the thoughts and theories that were emerging prior to the decade I am looking at. This book has enabled me to understand different points of view from different practitioners across theatre (including directors, performers, and critics) and allowed me to think about the subject I am investigating from other angles.


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