REVIEW of Julia Listengarten (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre since 1945, Cambridge University Press, 2021, 296 p.
by Frédéric Lefrançois, Université des Antilles (France)
The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre since 1945 constitutes a comprehensive study of the historical evolution of theatrical practice, organization and management dynamics after the second World War. This richly informed compendium looks into the demographic, geographical, economic and aesthetic transformations of post-war American theater in a multi-ethnic and multictultural context. These changes concern the rise of alternative artistic communities, the introduction of innnovative interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as the introduction of new methodological paradigms aiming to facilitate inclusiveness and the integration of diversity in mainstream theater.
The volume is clearly dedicated to conceptual originality, both in its structure and discourse. Some authors like Confronting prior practices with the current trends, some authors like Laura McDonald and Jessica Silby
As American theatre has embraced diversity in practice and representation, the volume examines the various creative voices, communities, and perspectives that prior to the 1940s was mostly excluded from the theatrical landscape. This diversity has led to changing dramaturgical and theatrical languages that take us in to the twenty-first century. These shifting perspectives and evolving forms of theatrical expressions paved the ground for contemporary American theatrical innovation.