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We live in times of crisis. How has the theatre responded? Has the theatre lived up to its essential purpose: to “hold the mirror up” to our turbulent times?


This book looks at the courageous responses from playwrights over the past hundred years, writing about urgent issues – from World War II to communism, apartheid, the AIDs epidemic, gay hate crime, urban race riots, conflict in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan, systemic racism, immigrant identity, the refugee crisis, authoritarianism, failing educational systems, environmental peril, and, most recently, the pandemic. These dedicated writers (from four continents) and the theatres who support them have taken huge risks to heighten our awareness to the urgent issues of our times. This book acknowledges the exciting new dramatic forms they have created, their heroic efforts, the changes they have provoked, and the ones they continue to inspire.

Carol Rocamora is an educator, playwright, biographer, translator, and critic. She has served on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts since 1993, and has also taught at the Juilliard School.


"Rocamora’s amazing compendium vividly evokes and celebrates a whole world of theatre that is deeply engaged with reality and a big part of what makes it a liveable place. It will be a great reassurance to theatre people that the dreams and desires of an earlier age live on.”

David Lan, Producer, The Walk


"This is a book that needed to be written." - Ben Brantley, Theatre Critic 




CRISIS contains discussion of the following plays:


Disgraced; Grounded; Mother Courage and Her Children; Guantanamo: ‘Honor Bound to Defend Freedom.’; The Niceties; Black Watch; An Ordinary Muslim; A Number; Blue Heart; Cloud Nine; Escaped Alone; Far Away; American Moor;Ain’t No Mo; Fairview; Death of England and Death of England: Delroy; Blood Knot and Other Plays; Three Port Elizabeth Plays; “Master Harold”… and the boys; Eclipsed; Beat the Devil: A Covid Monologue; Stuff Happens; Slave Play1984 by George Orwell; An Octoroon; The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project:  Ten Years Later; Mosquitos; The Children; Angels in America; Death of a Salesman; Hamilton: The Revolution; In the HeightsPipeline; The Jungle; The Guys; The Apple Family: A Pandemic Trilogy; Ruined; Pass Over; Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3; The America Play and Other Works; Topdog/Underdog; White Noise; Rockets and Blue Lights; The Lehman Trilogy; Notes from the Field; Twilight Los Angeles: 1992 and others.


CRISIS: The Theatre Responds (paperback)

SKU: 0014
  • Paperback
    264 pages
    216mm x 140mm

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