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Edited by Anton Wagner. Toronto, Simon & Pierre, c1985. 411pp, cloth, $29.95, ISBN 0-88924-152-X. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Thea Todd

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

This collection of essays was originally produced in order to introduce Canadian performing arts to non-Canadians at the 21st World Congress of the International Theatre Institute in June, 1985. A second, equally important purpose, as stated in Anton Wagner's introduction, was to "provide an opportunity for Canadian theatre artists and their public to take pride in the accomplishments of their profession, as well as recognize past achievements and present challenges facing the arts in Canada." The resulting book is a fascinating overview of contemporary Canadian theatre in all media since World War II. Looking through the table of contents, one is impressed both by the scope of the material and by the collection's timeliness. For the lover of theatre there is much gold here, including a fine personal essay by R.H. Thomson. There are well-researched and thoughtful essays on regional theatres, the alternate theatre movement, playwrighting, directing, design, indigenous theatre, young people's theatre, dance, opera, and radio and television drama. One entire section is devoted to a province-by-province survey of theatre and drama that includes some perceptive analyses of productions. This listing, however, only begins to give an idea of the broad coverage of the work. The essayists have provided sources, and in addition, an extensive selected bibliography has been provided by the editor. The book is well-indexed and includes many photographs and some drawings.

To find such a wealth of material within the covers of one book is much; to find in addition that the book is so well designed and the essays so carefully thought out makes this book an indispensable tool for research into the Canadian arts scene. It should be available to all senior high school and university students. It will also appeal strongly to the general reader interested in the arts.

Thea Todd, Toronto, Ont.
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