To many observers—especially those in the audience—the actor plays the most visible role in any particular performance. But critical perspectives on drama, especially in literature departments, have tended to focus on the text rather than on the performer, for obvious reasons. In theatre studies, by contrast, the actor—as subject of biography or aesthetic analysis, or as the target of practical training—has taken center stage. Our call, born out of a sense that literary, critical, and historical perspectives require a living touchstone to ground analysis and anchor conclusions in the real world, seeks to corral some interesting thinking at the junction of two fields. In its contours, this collection demonstrates performance studies done historically and literarily. More than just interdisciplinary, these essays reveal multidisciplinary approaches to thinking about not only texts either destined for, or resulting from, performance, but also the human bodies essential to completing the meaning of those texts. We could not be more gratified by the historical breadth and compelling consilience of the group.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.