The fourth edition of Theatre Histories is complete, and I expect that Routledge will publish it in April or so. It advanced over the third edition far more than I expected: my new co-authors Daphne Lei and Patricia Ybarra (along with continuing co-author Tamara Underiner) wanted to do more than simply update and fill holes, which took the book a definite leap forward. It’s high time that theater instructors who have eschewed textbooks give it a good look!
An editor requested that I cut the manuscript of The Question of Theater in half. I was less than thrilled with the idea, but it turned out less agonizing than I expected (for one thing, I had far too many notes) and in retrospect I should have done it earlier. But I’m not sure of the proposal’s current status, and for various reasons I think I’ll need to shop around the book for a while longer. For one thing, I take aim at a long of sacred cows, including anthropological theories of theater’s origins and mechanisms — e.g., ritual, play, and mimesis (the latter also having a lot of Platonic baggage) — and the bias toward various avant-gardes (especially my critique of Lehmann’s theory of “postdramatic theater”). Also, pretty much every step of the way, this project has encountered weird difficulties, including a couple cases of outright editorial malpractice. Strange but true; things can go pear-shaped now and then in the publishing world
As part of cutting the manuscript, I removed an appendix with short discussions on Peirce and Deleuze, some of which first appeared as blog posts. To compensate, I wrote a full article, “Peirce’s Universal Categories and Critical Realist Ontology,” now under review (you can download the submitted version from the Publications and Drafts page). I’m in the midst of writing an article on Deleuze and critical realism, which similarly replaces a (much shorter) part of the appendix.