In this outstanding collection of critical writings, some published here for the first time, Gordon Rogoff tells the story of live theater in America over the past forty years. His view of modern drama and its performance is rich with the insights of both a discerning critic and an individual for whom the making of theater is a passion. As Rogoff explores the topics of acting, directing, playwriting, Shakespeare productions, opera, and theater criticism, he celebrates live theater's victories over new realms while deploring the threat of imitative repertories, acting styles, and playwriting. Throughout the book he underscores his conviction that dramatic literature and performance may be taken as a book of instruction for the way we lead our lives.Rogoff ranges widely in his discussions, considering the work of Peter Brook, Robert Wilson, Ariane Mnouchkine, Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Alban Berg, and Tony Kushner among others, and the performances of such actors as Laurence Olivier, Donald Wolfit, Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Lee I. Cobb, Vanessa Redgrave, and Geraldine Page. He registers dissenting notes about the accomplishments of Joseph Papp, Eugene O'Neill, and Arthur Miller. In his concluding essays, Rogoff contends that nostalgia -- "our millennial nemesis" -- may be a way of forgetting rather than remembering.