- Editorial Comment: What’s New?
When sending submissions out for peer review, the editors of Theatre Journal ask readers to consider whether the essay under consideration is on the cutting edge of research and whether it pushes the field forward. The essays in this general issue meet these criteria in a variety of ways. Derek Miller identifies what is essentially a new genre in his study of nineteenth-century copyright performance; Dana Van Kooy proposes a new reading of Sheridan’s Pizarro as commodifying history through the dramaturgical and theatrical techniques of the emergent form of melodrama; Christian DuComb’s analysis of Pig Iron Theatre Company’s 2001 production Anodyne offers a new way of thinking about the ethics and comparative problematics of representing violence in theatre and photography; Robin Bernstein’s essay on the Rude Mechs’s 2008 work The Method Gun makes the new argument that the risk of shame, rather than death, is the fundamental condition underlying method acting and method-based realism, as well as other forms of twentieth- and twenty-first-century theatre; and Brian Herrera offers a new understanding of long-standing “para-histories” of West Side Story’s genius and racism as they intersected in the 2009 Broadway revival that first added and then cut Spanish lyrics and dialogue. That the majority of this new research comes from new scholars suggests the vital role that Theatre Journal plays in the renewal of the field. Tracy Davis’s survey of recent research in nineteenth-century theatre studies exemplifies a new feature of the journal—the book review essay—initiated by book review editor Julia Walker, while contributions by Sonja Arsham Kuftinec, Kimberly Jannarone, and Megan Lewis, among others, illustrate how Theatre Journal’s performance review section serves not simply to describe new productions, but to capture developing currents in the field as they play out on stages from the United States to France, South Africa to Serbia, and beyond. [End Page 1]