Why theatre now? Reflecting on the mix of challenges and opportunities that face theatre in communities that are necessarily becoming global in scope and technologically driven, In Defence of Theatre offers a range of passionate reflections on this important question.
Kathleen Gallagher and Barry Freeman bring together nineteen playwrights, actors, directors, scholars, and educators who discuss the role that theatre can – and must – play in professional, community, and educational venues. Stepping back from their daily work, they offer scholarly research, artists’ reflections, interviews, and creative texts that argue for theatre as a response to the political and cultural challenges emerging in the twenty-first century. Contributors address theatre’s contribution to local and global politics of place, its power as an antidote to various modern social ailments, and its pursuit of equality. Of equal concern are the systematic and practical challenges that confront those involved in realizing theatre’s full potential.