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  • Editor's Note
  • Rebecca Rovit, Associate Professor

I am honored to observe the thirtieth anniversary of JDTC by featuring the work of seven esteemed scholars in Theatre and Performance Studies. The authors have received awards for their widely-read monographs, articles, and edited studies. As educators and researchers, they have developed and contributed to distinguished book series, and served at the helm of major journals in our field. They have led departments, interdisciplinary programs, and international theatre associations. And they have worked as dramaturgs and directors in professional and university settings. Their ideas about historiography, queer theory, performance philosophy, feminist theatre, transnational performance, and modernist drama resonate in our classrooms.

These authors graciously answered my call for this special issue to present their research and reflections on the state of our art. Their articles offer a range of scholarship, allowing us to deepen our understanding of historical, theoretical, and dramaturgical approaches to theatre, and gain insight into developing scholarly inquiries. Thomas Postlewait draws on his extensive oeuvre in theatre and historiography to focus on "the evidence," proposing four methods with which to engage historiographical research. Kim Marra adopts a queer approach to equestrian performance and historical memory in her article on Peter Schaffer's Equus and its ancient precedents, engaging links between homoeroticism and hippophilia. Freddie Rokem proposes the dramaturgical significance of Walter Benjamin's correspondence with Gershom Scholem to consider the exilic onstage in Passport, a contemporary Israeli intertextual production about refugees and displacement. Penny Farfan focuses on dramaturgy by interviewing contemporary Canadian playwrights Colleen Murphy and Judith Thompson about their fact-inspired dramatic work, showing how they use recent traumatic events to comment on the sexism that victimizes women in North American societies. Aparna Dharwadker reveals the role of poverty in theatre-making as a structurally-inherent challenge in postcolonial countries as she explores the transnational theatre work of modern playwrights from the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and India, noting the need to acknowledge drama, authorship, and context in her study. Christopher Balme also maintains a postcolonial framework, using a combination of methods in theatre history and cultural discourse to show how we may study the dynamic of theatrical institutions. Joseph Roach, known for his Player's Passion (1985), the World Performance Project, and a scholarly approach to circum-Atlantic performance (Cities of the Dead just marked its thirtieth year), reflects on the serendipitous evolution over decades of a field of study. It is up to us to sustain for future research the vibrancy of scholarly purpose that these authors represent in their work.

I would like to acknowledge several people including Kate Nygren, whose managerial and editorial assistance has been helpful during my sabbatical year away from KU. I extend my appreciation to Chris Woodworth now in her second year as [End Page 7] Book Review Editor. Congratulations go to our former Managing Editor, Dr. Jeanne Tiehen, for successfully earning her doctorate in Theatre. To our reviewers, thank you for your service in helping us to recognize and publish original scholarship. And to our subscribers and readers, thank you for reading! [End Page 8]

Rebecca Rovit, Associate Professor
University of Kansas


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