An astonishing variety of theatrical performances may be seen today in the eight countries of Southeast Asia--Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. James Brandon spent more than three years observing and interviewing troup members in these countries. He describes twenty-five of the most important theatrical forms, grouping them according to their origins as folk, court, popular, or Western theatre. He considers the theatre from four perspectives: its origins, its art, its role as a social institution, and its function as a medium of communication and propaganda. Brandon's wide-ranging and lively discussion points out interesting similarities and differences among the countries, and many of his superb photographs are included here.