A useful but somewhat pedantic history of the theater, from the early Greek, Roman and Oriental theater, to Federal Theater in America. The arrangement is largely chronological, with overlapping in successive regional breakdowns. The 16th century miracle and mystery plays; the pastoral plays and comedy of the 17th century, then the theater in succeeding centuries in France, Spain, Germany, England and America. There is an enormous amount of valuable information, there is a real sense of here and nowness in the descriptions of the theaters and the crowds of successive periods. But the style is a bit heavy-handed, and often over-written.