This outstanding collection of lectures first presented at the annual Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival covers five centuries of theatre history-from Commedia dell'Arte to avant garde director Anne Bogart. In between, the lectures discuss highpoints of western dramatic literature and theatrical innovation in Europe and America.Collected here for the first time, these lectures offer valuable information for scholars and students of theatre history, popular culture, communications and the social sciences. But because these lectures were commissioned for a popular audience, they also provide entertaining reading for anyone interested in learning more about the evolution of theatre.