This is an anthology of plays drawn from many periods from Greek times to our own. The plays are: Oedipus Rex, Noah and His Sons, Hamlet, The Servant of Two Masters, Tartuffe, A Doll's House, The Hairy-Ape, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Happy Days, The Colored Museum, Roosters, Yankee Dawg You Die, and An American Daughter. Each play is preceded by a brief historical/biographical synopsis of piece/writer. Editors Brockett and Ball were looking for plays that spoke of cultural diversity and dramatic power. There is a companion volume, The Essential Theatre, that delves more deeply into each of the plays historical and cultural context but each book is written to stand alone.