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Oscar G. Brockett, Theatre Historian

In 1992, Oscar G. Brockett revisited his home of fifteen years and focused on the topic of multiculturalism delivering two Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lectures entitled, Acculturation and Multiculturalism: Some Uses of Theatre in Twentieth-Century America and Theatre History and the Demands of Multiculturalism.

Oscar Brockett is considered by many to be the worlds foremost theatre historian. Drama students around the world use he term Brockett when referring to their theatre history or world drama texts, and anyone who has looked up Drama in a major encyclopedia has probably encountered the work of Brockett.

He earned his BA from Peabody College and his MA and PhD from Stanford University. His teaching career began at the University of Kentucky and continued at Stanford University where he taught for two years. He subsequently taught at Stetson University, the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois, and Bristol University in England.

In 1963, Oscar Brockett moved with his family to Bloomington, where he joined the theatre faculty and taught for the next fifteen years. He became a distinguished Professor at IU-Bloomington in 1976. In 1978, he left for the University of Texas at Austin, where he held the Z.T. Scott Family Chair in Drama. During the 1980-81 academic year he was a DeMille Professor of Drama at the University of Southern California.

Professor Brocketts books include: The Essential Theatre (now in its eighth edition), History of the Theatre (now in its ninth edition), Century of Innovation: A history of European and American Theatre and Drama Since the Late Nineteenth Century (With Robert Findlay, now in its second edition), Plays for the Theatre (now in its eighth edition), World Drama, Modern Theatre: Realism and Naturalism to the Present, The Theatre: An Introduction (now in its fourth edition), Studies in Theatre and Drama, Perspectives on Contemporary Theatre, and A Bibliographical Guide to Research in Speech and Dramatic Art.

He is a past editor of Theatre Journal and of the Theatre and Drama Series published by UMI Research Press. In addition, he has served on the board of numerous scholarly theatre publications.

Brockett has presented more than one hundred lectures and panels at universities and theatre conferences around the world and served as chair of the opening session of the International Eugene O’Neill Conference in Nanjing, China, 1988.

A member of numerous theatre organizations, he has served as president of the American Theatre Association and on the executive committee for the American Society for Theatre Research.

A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Fulbright Award, Oscar Brockett is a Fellow of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center and has been awarded multiple Career Achievement Awards from groups like the Association for Theatre in Higher Education among others.