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This essential reference tool contains more than 2500 entries covering everything from the main stage to the fringes of theatrical fact and folklore. It contains biographies of playwrights, actors and directors, information on theatres and theatre companies and explanations of technical terms, theatre genres, and synopses of major plays. More than a comprehensive and authoritative compendium, it is also a fascinating insider's guide to the USA and UK theatre communities which is sprinkled with anecdotes and trivia. Theatre fans will find an irresistible trove of wit and wisdom such as Alec Guinness' advice to actors: First wipe your nose and check your fly" and the equally wise guidance from Noel Coward: "Just know your lines and don't bump into the furniture.""