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June 19, 2003

Pomo’s book offers worldview on drama

In The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theater: A Global Perspective all the world is indeed a stage.

The exhaustive introduction to drama, co-edited by theatre and dance department chair and School of the Arts interim director Roberto Pomo, has been greeted warmly by reviewers. Between its covers, alongside core works from the Western canon, are historically neglected plays from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“It’s the first anthology that’s global in nature,” says Pomo. “In our great nation we’re so tunneled in vision – we label anything to do with Latin America or Asia or Africa as being Third World. But Latin American theater, for example, is very advanced.”

The 1,808-page tome holds both an expansive historical treatise, detailing the origins of drama, and an anthology of 58 plays. Pomo painstakingly sought out international playwrights with track records of successful publication and consistent quality.

He says he hopes the books will throw open doors to a treasure trove of theater.

“An intelligent reader will peruse it and say, ‘I didn’t know the theater of Latin America or Africa was so eclectic or so well developed, with such history,’ and they’ll learn to appreciate them,” he says. “And maybe some of these plays will be staged.

“If a professor or a director says, ‘I’ve never read this from Chile before, but I want to stage it,’ then the journey has been worth it.”

Pomo is now at work on another anthology, this one of 20th Century world drama.

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