Review of The Australian Stage: A Documentary History, ed. Harold Love
Given that a primary function of documenting the past is also to learn about the present, the long-awaited compilation The Australian Stage serves as a treasure-house for commentators seeking to discern present patterns and trends. The subtitle of the work, 'A Documentary History,' signals the editor's awareness that some principles of selectivity inevitably shape the primary documentation towards coherence in a present-orientated project. The book is thus capable of telling us as much about the concerns of theatre scholarship and of the profession itself in the 1980s as it does about the previous two hundred years. These subtextual patterns link together documents from published and unpublished sources with the historical commentaries by various contributors which provide the interpretative guides to the materials and to the periods they cover.
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