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Alternatives Within the Mainstream: British Black and Asian Theatres is the first comprehensive collection of critical essays on the subject. Edited by Dimple Godiwala, the anthology is in six parts: A lengthy Introduction is followed by Part II (Histories and Trajectories) which contains chapters which survey the work of the Black Theatre Forum and the histories of Black and Asian theatres in Britain. Part III (Histories of Theatre Companies and Arts Venues) charts brief histories of the major theatre companies, Talawa, Tara and Tamasha and contains a survey of Birmingham s changing arts venues. Part IV called simply Controversies is a document of the Sikh diaspora s uproar over Behzti and issues of censorship. Part V (The Dramatists) critically explores the work of several dramatists such as Killion M. Gideon, Liselle Kayla, Roselia John Baptiste, Trish Cooke, Zindika, Jackie Kay, Valerie Mason-John, Wole Soyinka, Sol B. River, Roy Williams, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Anu Kumar, Rukhsana Ahmad, Bettina Gracias, Bapsi Sidhwa, Tanika Gupta, Deepak Verma, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti and Yasmin Whittaker Khan. Part V (Theatre Voices) consists of autobiographical essays by some of Britain s theatremakers. This contains contributions by Jatinder Verma, Yvonne Brewster, Sol B. River, Valerie Mason-John, Bapsi Sidhwa. A long overdue book which examines in imaginative depth the universe inside an often trivialised area of British theatre. Alternatives Within The Mainstream provides serious academic opinion and detailed textual analysis in abundance. The book s impressive collection of facts and analyses challenge the culture of myth which too often obscures the relevance of Black and Asian work. There are also many absorbing revelations: did you know, for instance, that Ignatius Sancho was Garrick s friend? Yvonne Brewster
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"One of the best features of Dimple Godiwala's anthology...is that it can serve as a sourcebook for those interested in black and Asian theatre in Britain. The collection ranges from descriptive and informative articles to analyses of the radically inflected reception of plays and playwrights in contemporary Britain.Godiwala's anthology attempts to balance histories of theatre companies with critical accounts of specific productions or the oeuvre of a playwright."-Kanika Batra in Wasafiri # 54, Summer 2008"Godiwala's collection is commendable for its wide ranging overview and analysis of Black and Asian Theatres."-Giovanni Buonanno, 'Interactions' Vol 17.2, Ege University"Yvonne Brewster (the celebrated founder of Talawa Theatre) comments on the back jacket of this new edited collection that it is 'long overdue'. The editor must be congratulated on having succeeded so well in extensively documenting a crucial, but neglected, topic in contemporary British theatre. It is not only academics adn theatre practitioners who will find this landmark collection of over 400 pages on British Black and Asian theatre and drama an extremely welcome arrival on the scene. My own students, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds, have been waiting for a groundbreaking volume like this for a very long time... For those interested in such things, this book is well produced from the dust jacket's inclusion of details from Talawa's legendary production of C. L. R. James' The Black Jacobins, to the legibility and clean feel of the typeface... Nonetheless, this is an important and timely collection that deserves to be read widely."-Steven Barfield, vol. 60, number 2, 2006, Theatre Notebook, A Journal of teh History and Technique of the British Theatre (The Society for Theatre Research)"One of the best features of Dimple Godiwala's anthology, Alternatives Within the Mainstream, is that it can servce as a sourcebook for those interested in black and Asian threatre in Britain... For those already familiarwith the terrain of black British drama this anthology is a valuable addition to the analytical field; those embarking on a study of it will also find it a good resource."Kanika Batra, Wasafiri Journal # 54, Summer 2008About the Author:
Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński, Ph.D., currently teaches Contemporary Philosophy, Aesthetics, Cultural Anthropology, Polish Philosophy, and American Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Opole University, Poland. Matthew Caleb Flamm, Ph.D is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rockford College, in Rockford, Illinois.
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