This guidebook for transforming actual American figures and events into dramatic form has aided many communities and groups in writing, planning, and producing first-rate historical dramas. The new edition of Creating Historical Drama: A Guide for Communities, Theatre Groups, and Playwrights features updated examples of drama and dramatic activities from short indoor productions to large-scale, outdoor historical dramas; new material about funding, economic impact on communities, budgeting, and marketing; and current information on physical theatre development.
Responding to a national interest in dramatizing historical material in a variety of community settings, the volume begins with a discussion on the scope and sources of historical drama, as well as the reasons for historicizing drama. From there, it details the features of biography, pageant, and epic dramas, and takes on important issues such as historical accuracy and dealing with expository material. The handbook then provides assistance in composing drama, leading and organizing the theatre group, organizing the community’s resources, and evaluating the audience and the production site. Twenty-nine illustrations, with sketches by Darwin Payne and Ronald Naverson, augment the discussion.
Written for the nonspecialist and particularly useful to novice playwrights and directors, the volume is equally important for professional historians, educators, and theatre artists. More than a guidebook, Creating Historical Drama convincingly demonstrates that the genre is a beneficial and significant cultural phenomenon that not only educates and entertains, but also has the power to revitalize civic economy and morale.