Théâtrales is a sui generis web site dedicated to francophone theatre divided into seven categories. The first category is General Bibliography of Theatre Studies. This section includes bibliographies, glossaries, encyclopedias and repertoires which include the most important names directly or indirectly related to theatre, art, literature and culture in general. References on aesthetics, for example, span from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant. This bibliographical tour-de-force is a must for every theatre scholar. Following this is a Theatre Glossary to facilitate the reading of critical texts. The "franciza-tion" of the terminology is minimal, making the material accessible to the non-francophone user. Sources include dictionaries and encyclopedias from Québec, France, and the United States.
The third section focuses more specifically on francophone theater. Québec Theatre: Stones and Plans to Build a History provides Bourassa's evaluation of the history of theatre in Québec. It accurately and successfully provides a detailed view of the appearance of theatre in the province. In an accompanying section, A Fool in the Pocket! The State of Francophone Theatre in Québec, 1624-1824, Bourassa, through text and images, traces this theatre's first steps against the backdrop of contemporary historical events. Bourassa's history lesson adds another dimension to an already rich and sometimes contradictory historical reality.
The Théâtre de la foire of Paris, the fourth section, is a carefully outlined overview of comic theatre in Paris tracing its origins to the seventeenth century. Russell also includes a text which indicates the different forms in which the Théâtre de la foire has appeared. There are facsimiles of printed references to time, place, and theme of the productions. This menu offers the 1678 text of Les Forces de l'Amour et de la Magie, for example. The family and professional history of the actors at the end is an interesting, if not immediately vital, addition. The richness in detail of this section—for example, a schedule of performances under Louis XIV—will appeal to the researcher interested in the minutiae of this topic.
The Virtual Library is a compendium of dramatic texts with automatic links to their source in the virtual library. Here the authors apprise the user of the possible and likely difficulties present in the retrieval of a particular text and offer workable solutions and ways to circumvent eventual problems.
The user is advised to contact the Virtual Library at two sites, one at the University of Nancy and the other at the University of Chicago. Addresses are provided. A list of texts and their authors is included. The section titled ClicNet: Littérature francophone virtuelle (ClikNet: Virtual Francophone Literature) includes topics such as Present State of Literature, Political Writings, Adolescent Literature, Philosophy, Literary Research, Science Fiction and others. Another part of the section, Historique, focuses on post-World War II writings in France complete with a glossary of modern literary terminology. Unfortunately, this section does not treat Québec literature. A communiqué, however, does announce the translation of two Canadian plays, one in French and one in English. The plug on Théâtre Québec, an annual bulletin on theatrical activity in Québec, would have been a more felicitous addition to its introduction were a sample section provided.
The sixth section, an English site, The Parisian Stage During the French Revolution, is a compendium of the plays performed in Paris during this period. The author cautions scholars to use it on an experimental basis and announces the release but not the time of an updated database.
The Corpus of French Religious Theatre of the Middle Ages is the last section. There are four parts to this section arranged according to traditional genres which roughly correspond to time periods. The site is self-explanatory with no access to any of the texts mentioned nor are other links provided.
The materials in this web site are presented in a focused and thoughtful manner and, for the most part, are easily accessed. Images that introduce each link are appropriate, carefully cited and do...