New edition of professor’s theatre book released

Playwrights Canada Press in Toronto has just published a new edition of York theatre Professor Don Rubin’s book Canadian Theatre History: Selected Readings. The 420-page volume has become a standard text for theatre courses across the country.

Left: Don Rubin

The book includes a foreword by York history Professor Emeritus Jack Granatstein, editor of Copp Clark’s New Canadian Readings series in which the volume first appeared. The new edition features on its cover an evocative image called “Gram Glover’s Dream” by Newfoundland artist David Blackwood, a number of corrections from the earlier edition and an updated bibliography.

“I’m delighted that Playwrights Canada Press decided to re-release this important volume,” said Rubin, a founding member of the Faculty of Fine Arts (he has been at York since 1968) and a former Chair of the Theatre Department. “When Copp Clark stopped publishing, the book was taken over by General, but General was not in the history or theatre fields. I think it has now found the right home. It has only been out about two weeks and has already sold several hundred copies.”

The book includes readings spanning English-Canadian theatre from 1760 to 2000 and features contributions by such major theatrical and literary figures as Robertson Davies, Sharon Pollock, Herman Voaden, George Ryga, Merrill Denison and Susan Crean. Among those included who have York connections are Mavor Moore, former theatre professor; Patricia Keeney, professor of humanities and English; and York theatre alumnus Alan Filewod, professor at the University of Guelph.

Canadian Theatre History: Selected Readings will be part of Playwrights Canada Press’ fall launch on Oct. 28 at Theatrebooks, located at 11 St. Thomas Street, Toronto. Rubin will join more than a dozen other authors in readings from the new publications.

Between the two editions of Canadian Theatre History, Rubin edited the $3-million, six-volume World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre published by Routledge (London and New York). He is currently working on a three-volume Encyclopedia of Contemporary Dramatists, an anthology of plays by Canadian women with Patricia Keeney, and his memoir.