Now a Bloomsbury imprint, Methuen Drama is launching its digital library Drama Online next year. I think students and scholars are going to find it useful, especially if they want to research Bertholt Brecht.
It will be the first time that Brecht’s dramatic works have been available electronically and, initially at least, the only place where users can browse his work online.
Drama Online will hold multiple translations of works by authors such as Chekhov and Ibsen, as well as Brecht and many other playwrights. For example users can compare Mother Courage and Her Children in translations by Tony Kushner, John Willett, and Michael Hoffman, and versions of The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Alistair Beaton and Frank McGuinness.
Also welcome is the decision to include lesser known works as well as the obvious ones. Thus alongside Brecht’s most-studied and performed works, such as Life of Galileo, The Threepenny Opera and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, lesser-known plays from all eight Brecht World Classics play collection volumes will be available, including the Lehrstücke (learning plays).
Additionally, Drama Online will bring together many of the crucial essays that illustrate the development of his aesthetic and the breadth of his interests. Brecht on Theatre, Brecht on Film and Radio, Brecht on Art and Politics, and the Journals will together provide an unrivalled corpus of Brecht’s writings on theatre, culture and theory. This fully searchable collection offers the work of one of the twentieth century’s leading cultural theorists at the click of a mouse.
“This is a hugely welcome addition to the available digital resources on drama and theatre theory. To be able to search and compare major translations of one of the greatest of all dramatists will open up whole new paths of enquiry for scholars, students and theatre practitioners,” says [Tom Kuhn, Oxford University] (http://www.st-annes.ox.ac.uk/about/people/profile/details/tom-kuhn.html)
Drama Online will feature drama titles from Bloomsbury’s Methuen Drama and Arden Shakespeare lists and from Faber & Faber to form a collection of the most studied, performed and critically acclaimed plays from the last two and half thousand years.
In addition, it offers student guidance in the form of scholarly notes, annotated texts, critical analysis and contextual information. It is intended to meet the needs of performers, practitioners and students.
Drama Online starts trials from October 2012, with a full launch in Spring 2013.