Most of the essays in this volume developed from a series of lectures on the forms and functions of theatre in different cultures, and correspondences between them, organized by the Leiden University Department of Theatre and Film Studies. Some contributions to this volume discuss origins, forms and functions of theatre in the Far and in the Middle East, as well as how in some cases the contemporary theatre in these cultures have managed to incorporate Western theatrical elements into their local traditions. Other articles consider how such twentieth-century Western dramatists as Yeats, Brecht and Beckett have been inspired by Asian theatre forms; how Western theatre-goers have misunderstood the true nature of Russian drama; how the inspiration of the best known of those Russian playwrights has manifested itself in the work of an American film-maker; and how African dance has helped to reshape North Atlantic modern and post-modern choreography. Thus this collection is arranged to take the reader on a journey of discovery, or possibly recovery, from China to Japan, from India to Africa, from Iran to Turkey, to Russia and finally from Moscow to Manhattan. Theatre Intercontinental will be of value to scholars, teachers and students with an interest in how theatre manifests itself in various cultures, how it originated, what needs it fulfils and how it is affected by cross-cultural influences. It provides a few tentative conclusions, some thought provoking questions and, we hope, the stimulus to compare the issues raised here with theatrical cultures not covered by this book.