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From before history was recorded to the present day, theatre has been a major artistic form around the world. From puppetry to mimes and street theatre, this complex art has utilized all other art forms such as dance, literature, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Every aspect of human activity and human culture can be, and has been, incorporated into the creation of theatre. In this Very Short Introduction Marvin Carlson takes us through Ancient Greece and Rome, to Medieval Japan and Europe, to America and beyond, and looks at how the various forms of theatre have been interpreted and enjoyed. Exploring the role that theatre artists play - from the actor and director to the designer and puppet-master, as well as the audience - this is an engaging exploration of what theatre has meant, and still means, to people of all ages at all times. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.