This article continues “The Bibliography of the Theatrical Movement of Western Asia and North Africa,” Peter V. Chelkowski, editor, started In the MESA Bulletin XVI.1 (July 1982), pp. 9–23 with P. Cachia, “The Theatrical Movement of the Arabs,” and continued in XVI. 2 (December 1982) pp. 14–20 with F. Rokem, “Theatrical Movement in the Hebrew Theater.”
On the dramaturgical map of western Asia, the huge section long held by Czarist and Soviet Russia deserves attentive scrutiny. Theatrical life has been especially rich in the multi-ethnic Transcaucasus and, to a lesser degree, in the Tatar homelands and Central Asia, at least since medieval times. In certain respects the area leads the entire Middle East in this field. Theater in the region is abundant as well as versatile in form. It has given to both players and audiences literary religious performances, a secular neoclassical drama, folk comedy, modern European-style stage works, and ideologically-committed theater, as well as numerous plays translated or adapted from West and East. But how far the modern dramas may be identified either as local Asian or international Western remains a serious question for every specialist.