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Benson, Eugene and L.W. Conolly.

Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1987. 134pp. paper. $9.95. ISBN 0-19-540583-8. (Perspectives on Canadian Culture series). CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Pot Bolger

Volume 16 Number 5
1988 September

Benson and Conolly, co-editors of The Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre (to be published in 1989), have produced a useful survey of theatre history in Canada. Their discussion of the colonial period covers the influence of both Britain and the United States and surveys dramas written by Canadians during the nineteenth century, providing lively commentary on a handful of native playwrights. Progress towards a truly Canadian identity is traced through the Little Theatre movement, the Dominion Drama Festival, and radio drama. The last and longest section deals with professional theatre in Canada and examines government involvement, alternate theatres, and dramatists such as Herbert, Reaney, Ryga and Freeman.

The bibliography of about seventy-five citations is an excellent check-list of sources for researchers or for librarians building resources in the history of Canadian drama. Recommended as a reference source for teachers and senior students in high schools and for public library patrons with an interest in Canadian theatre.

Pot Bolger, Renfrew Collegiate Institute. Renfrew, Ont.
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