Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre is an advanced level reference guide which surveys the rich and diverse traditions of classical and contemporary performing arts in Asia, showcasing significant scholarship in recent years. An international team of over 50 contributors provide authoritative overviews on a variety of topics across Asia, including dance, music, puppetry, make-up and costume, architecture, colonialism, modernity, gender, musicals, and intercultural Shakespeare.

This volume is divided into four sections covering:

  • Representative Theatrical Traditions in Asia.
  • Cross-Regional Aspects of Classical and Folk Theatres.
  • Modern and Contemporary Theatres in Asian Countries.
  • Modernity, Gender Performance, Intercultural and Musical Theatre in Asia.

Offering a cutting edge overview of Asian theatre and performance, the Handbook is an invaluable resource for academics, researchers and students studying this ever-evolving field.


chapter |6 pages


Understanding Asian theatre

part |88 pages

Traditional theatre in Asia

part |145 pages

Dimensions of traditional Asian theatre

part |150 pages

Modern theatre in Asia

chapter |19 pages

Modern theatre in mainland Southeast Asia

Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

chapter |21 pages

Modern theatre in maritime Southeast Asia

Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore

part |162 pages

Perspectives of modern and contemporary Asian theatre

chapter |20 pages

The beginning of spoken theatre in Asia

Colonialism and colonial modernity