Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Theatrical Worlds


When approaching the topic of world theatre, it is necessary to first dispel some popular myths about theatre forms that are outside the traditional Western theatre aesthetic or canon. For the purposes of this chapter, selected examples of world theatre, including theatre of the Western world, are explored. However, there is a focus on the historical trajectory of traditional performance forms of non-Western countries. With the exception of efforts to preserve these traditional forms, it is important to note that “world” theatre is not code for static performance that resists evolution. Nor is world theatre “primitive” or simple. In this postmodern globalized age, performance that is “authentic” to its origins or home culture is less common than hybridized forms. Performance and theatre forms around the world continue to evolve to remain relevant. With the prevalence of intercultural exchange, theatre practitioners must approach their craft with cultural sensitivity and integrity, honoring difference and creating dialogue rather than falling into the traps of easy appropriation and exploitation. Armed with knowledge, the theatre and its audiences are only inspired to understand the human experience, wherever that experience may unfold on our planet.

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


This document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives license; it can be downloaded and shared as long as it is properly attributed, not changed in any way, or used commercially.


University Press of Florida

Place of Publication

Gainesville, FL