“The most important result of this publication is that through this entanglement of different discourses, cultures, and narrations, Kantor’s art reveals itself not only as practice but also as a strong theoretical proposal.”
Modern Drama

“These rich and profound essays not only place Kantor retrospectively into the theatrical past, but also argue persuasively for his relevance in the 21st century as an avatar of postdramatic and posthuman performance, and of object theater and performance art.”
Choice Magazine

“In their edited collection, Theatermachine, Magda Romanska and Kathleen Cioffi address the lack of recognition and critical attention given to Polish theater maker Tadeusz Kantor and attempt the important work of remedying this dearth of scholarship by repositioning the study of his productions and theoretical writings as productive sites of contemporary theory and aesthetics.”
–  TDR: The Drama Review 


“This diversity of authors – and the resulting various research views – is very valuable. It makes it possible to avoid situations where the same researchers write about Kantor’s works over and over again, but above all, it enables the editors to achieve the goal of showing the variety of contexts in which it can be successfully and in an interesting way placed. The work of the editors of the volume deserves recognition. The book they have prepared above all proves that Tadeusz Kantor’s work can still inspire, surprise and provoke discussion.”

“Romanska and Cioffi’s edited volume comes out at a perfect moment; Kantor’s legacy needs new analysis.”
Theatre and Performance Design

“In 2020, American theatre-related circles received an outstanding book covering multiple aspects of the work of Tadeusz Kantor. Theatermachine: Tadeusz Kantor in Context starts with the introduction by Magda Romańska (one of the editors). She points out that as much as Jerzy Grotowski’s focus on the body in his theatre practice made him the exemplary theatre figure of the second-half of the twentieth century, Kantor’s disembodied, truncated, object-oriented productions make him the signpost of the twenty-first century post-dramatic theatre that challenges the unified structure of the performance, gets rid of the character and plot, leaving the space for disconnected bits and pieces of transient reality. The theme of Kantor’s post-dramatic bent iterates in many other chapters as post-memory (Klaudiusz Święcicki, Anna Róża Burzyńska), or post-human age (Romańska) and is referenced as post-dramatic tragedy by Hans-Thies Lehmann. The arrangement of the consecutive chapters indicates how meticulously the editors were choosing the texts in order to continue the main thematic trajectories, but at the same time add a different perspective and a new angle to every section. We are confronted with myriads of [Kantor’s] ideas and the book edited by Magda Romańska and Kathleen Cioffi, like a real “Kantormachine,” is the best representation of this phenomenon. And the machine rolls on.”
The Polish Review

“This groundbreaking collection of beautifully edited essays is impressive in both scope and depth. The book deftly interweaves Kantor’s Polish, Jewish, international, and theoretical roots, thus illuminating essential connections between each in thrilling new ways.”
– Dassia Posner, Northwestern University, author of The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde

“A unique collection, full of splendid writing and vivid insight, destined to become an essential resource on one of the twentieth century’s seminal experimental theater artists.”
– Jonathan Kalb, Hunter College, the author of Great Lengths: Seven Works of Marathon Theater

“It is not overstating the case to say that this volume will for sure be the book of reference for students, scholars, and dramaturgs in the fields named above if it comes to questions of dramaturgy. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy goes far beyond a conventional handbook on dramaturgy as a way to structure a text to be staged.”
Journal of Contemporary Drama in English

“The range of this book is, as stated, quite extensive: its depth is impressive. Romanska’s collection is a statement as to where contemporary dramaturgical practice is at present, whilst also envisioning its future(s). With its compiling of multiple voices, techniques, perspectives, and techniques into one compendium, it is a singular, vital, and necessary contribution to the dramaturgical practice is at present, whilst also envisioning its future(s). With its compiling of multiple voices, techniques, perspectives, and techniques into one compendium – once again, facilitating a conversation seems appropriate in this context – it is a singular, vital, and necessary contribution to the field.”
Platform: Postgraduate Journal of Theatre Arts

“The book makes a virtue of its eclecticism and allows both term and role to appear across an array of contexts, conceptualizations, and performance practices. Some of the more practical, methodological accounts of dramaturgical work address areas that are underrepresented in other publications. It is an indispensable resource for anyone serious about dramaturgy.”
Contemporary Theatre Review

“With eighty-five essays, The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy offers comprehensive coverage of dramaturgical theory and practice. The wide range of essays emphasizes versatility and adaptability and the continuing relevance of analytical research processes in professional theatre and education. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy will prove highly useful in theatre and performance practice, education, and scholarship. Artistic directors, directors of individual productions, and early career and long-time dramaturgs will find support for their artistic missions and new ideas for audience development and outreach. At the college level, undergraduate students will benefit from the insights into text analysis and applications of performance history, while educators will find pedagogical encouragement and inspiration. Finally, scholars of performance and theatre will appreciate the wide-ranging coverage of dramaturgical theory in the rehearsal room and literary classroom.”
Theatre Survey

“The book offers an impressive range of voices and insights into dramaturgical practice in the form of short articles (four to five pages) structured into meaningful divisions. It certainly serves its purpose as a primary sourcebook.”
Theatre Research International

“A timely gift to the world of contemporary theatre. As the newest of collaborative roles in theatre-making, dramaturgy is well established in some performance cultures and still viewed with suspicion in others. The Routledge Companion is a testament to this much-misunderstood practice, and will greatly assist the recognition and consolidation of dramaturgy as an art. This impressively varied volume includes, in its 8 parts, 85 essays that shine different forms of light on dramaturgical theory and practice. Romanska’s intro is magisterial, managing to address, with astuteness and depth, what dramaturgy was, is, and can be.”
American Theatre

“Romanska has put together a robust, impressively comprehensive volume that covers the ever-broadening scope of contemporary dramaturgy within a global context.  With 85 essays, this volume reveals the established, emerging, and imagined ideas of what dramaturgy is and could be. The volume is destined to become a go-to reference for practitioners and students of dramaturgy, along with directors, critics, playwrights, and theater scholars.”
Choice Magazine

“Romanska attempts to provide a map of contemporary dramaturgical practice and theory, bringing together practicing dramaturgs and academics who provide a range of perspectives in their contributions. Romanska has set herself a formidable task in editing this volume.  [The book provides] a wide range of working methods in postdramatic theatre outlined in clear terms.”

“Non-Polish-speaking scholars of Grotowski and Kantor will be grateful for Romanska’s work. She opens up areas of these two productions which have been unavailable; trauma and Holocaust survivors will be glad to be made aware of them; and Romanska indicates the direction for further analysis in this area.”
New Theatre Quarterly

“Richly documented chapters interweave primary sources, critical commentary, and contemporary theory (for example, Adorno, Agamben, Bettelheim, Améry) on each topic. Through its argumentation and design, the book demonstrates a sophisticated dramaturgical strategy for re-historicizing and recontextualizing theatre and performance events.”
Theatre Journal

“Romanska persuasively argues that the two seminal works named in her title have been vastly under-studied and widely misunderstood; through extensive research, she aims to recover their literary, linguistic, historical, and cultural contexts. At its largest level, the book reaches beyond the ostensible objects of its study to boldly indict the entire field of Performance Studies as an inherently flawed mode of inquiry. Those who do know and teach these pieces will undoubtedly find Romanska’s work to be an invaluable resource.”
Theatre Annual A Journal of Performance Studies

Interview about the book, The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor.
 – The Anthem Press Blog

Feature article and interview about The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor. In her book, The Jewish Advocate writes, Romanska claims that not only must both directors’ innovations be understood in the context of Polish history and culture, but also that the Holocaust is at the center of this history.
The Jewish Advocate

Podcast: Magda Romanska discusses her new book, The Post-Traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor on NewBooksNetwork.


“Addressing a gap in western scholarship, Magda Romanska expertly and accessibly places these central works [Jerzy Grotowski’s Akropolis and Tadeusz Kantor’s Dead Class] into the cultural and historical context she convincingly argues is essential to their understanding. This text is a valuable resource for those looking to better understand the complex creativity of Grotowski and Kantor within their Polish historical, social, and literary context. [The book] is not only a rich explanation of these dramatists, but also serves as an engaging overview of the Polish literary tradition. Romanska offers a broad introduction to Grotowski and Kantor, as well as the historical and literary tradition of which they are a part. Of particular interest is her concise explanation of their respective theatrical philosophies, as well as the complicated traditions of Jewish mysticism and Romantic messianism that reverberate through the works.”

“Romanska’s fundamental objective is to reconstruct and provide the complex historical and cultural context that is necessary for a proper and deep understanding of the works – and thus to illustrate the possibilities and necessity of nuanced interpretations that take into account the text, subtext, and literary references. The task, which the author sets out and performs, starting from such a clearly defined research perspective, is both remarkable and impressive in its momentum and size.”
– Performer

“The range of texts is impressive. The collection fills a need for a big-picture anthology of theoretical writings about comedy and humor.”
Studies in American Humor

“An impressive cast of notable contributors offers their definitions of comedy and its historical contexts, themes, narrative structures, plots, character types and tropes. As a valuable precis of historical writings on comedy, Reader in Comedy is a full, rich and highly informative anthology that can be dipped into time and time again. It traces the evolution of thinking about comedy and comic text and places this within a consolidated timeline. For the scholar of comic theory and criticism, this is an extremely valuable reference tool.”
Comedy Studies

“Romanska and Ackerman’s Reader in Comedy is a very ambitious project, which draws on a range of sources from antiquity to the twenty-first century to compile an authoritative volume of works about comedy. The editors have created [anthology] with remarkable breadth.”
Studies in Theatre and Performance

“The task of assembling a reader is daunting, and editors Magda Romanska and Alan Ackerman admit the difficulty of their task upfront. They model a clear acceptance of historical shifts in ideas on the function of comedy, providing rigorous contextualization that locates each idea in its moment in time, and makes this a robust and useful primer for Western comedy theory through the ages. After the “General Introduction,” which admirably establishes the comic vocabulary in use throughout the text and sets the stage for the rest of the book. What [this volume] does—and does well—is assemble a strong collection of foundational texts for those looking to ground themselves in Western scholarship of the comic over time.”
Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism

“The question of how to define what comedy is or should be is one that can never be fully answered in literary and dramatic criticism. Magda Romanska and Alan Ackerman’s anthology embraces the difficulty in defining the genre that has existed since its inception in their lively and informed introduction, which is followed by sixty-four excerpts from literary and critical texts that reflect the changing definition of this slippery and amorphous genre.  The volume takes us clearly and concisely on its journey of exploring the genre, with a particular focus on dramatic comedy.”
Forum for Modern Language Studies

“A work of scholarship spanning this breadth of time, featuring the text of so many contributors, and from so many languages runs the risk of being bogged down by the weight of its information. In reaching backward and forward in time at so many points without creating confusion, the Reader is a testament to the work of Romanska and Ackerman. Reader in Comedy feels appropriately challenging and would make an ideal text for university-level coursework. As the unique challenges of the twenty-first century materialize, Reader in Comedy arrives precisely when it is needed most, and it provides an excellent starting point for those looking for relief, resistance or both.”
Platform Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts

“In 64 extracts, this comprehensive anthology covers 2375 years of mainly philosophical texts in 375 dense pages. This is an immense resource covering a lot of ground. When choosing a theme like this, a motif to draw through history, it’s fascinating how many other aspects of personal, social and existential life begin to cohere around the topic. What one wants from an anthology is breadth as well as detail; one wants the reach but also the specifics. What’s important is not only the selection but making choices within the selection itself, knowing what to cut and paste. This anthology certainly has the range and there were, for me, many new discoveries, such as links with religion, aesthetics and diversity politics.”
South African Theatre Journal

“Editors Magda Romanska and Alan Ackerman open their book by admitting the difficulty of their tasks: to historicize a genre so diverse in form and style and to define a genre (and its many subgenres) that itself resists definition. Rising to the challenge, the editors of Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism have created a temporally expansive analysis of western comic theory. It is a substantial anthology that interweaves performance studies, drama, literature, and critical theory. Romanska and Ackerman have curated a collection that charts continuity in comic theory without diluting historical specificities.  I would recommend this text for a survey course on comedy and comic theory in the United States and Europe, or to any scholar seeking a broad overview of writings on comedy.”
Modern Drama

Reader in Comedy presents a rich resource in helping students and scholars chronologically organize theories of humor, laughter, and comedy and demonstrates the dialogic nature of humor theories across continents and over centuries as well as the ways in which these theories are so often interrelated. The collection itself is worth a place on the shelf of any scholar who wants ready access to the long conversation about the role of laughter in literary life. Selections run from Plato and Aristotle through Simon Critchley, Linda Hutcheon, and essays from the most recent decade, with smart choices from Frye, Burke, Langer, Woolf, Derrida, and others who ought to figure more in current debates. A range [of readings] that a seminar might need for informed, provocative thinking about laughter and the literary imagination.”
Studies in American Humor

“Magda Romanska and Alan Ackerman’s Reader in Comedy is a well-thought-out anthology that embarks on a challenging enterprise: to provide an overview of theories related to comedy, broadly conceived, starting with the ancient Greek comedy and ending with the present-day sitcoms, vaudeville performances, slapstick comedy, and Internet humor. The general introduction, in turn, offers a valuable outline of the book: it explains the provenance of key terms, outlines debates on the role of comedy in particular periods, discusses typical comic plots and character-types, and ends with a brief synopsis of relevant theories of humor and laughter. Combined with the useful bibliographies following each of these prefatory studies, the Reader is an invaluable tool for teachers and students alike. This selection provides, thus, an inspiring diversity of views on the modern comic theory that could inform courses on comedy and/or dramatic art in both literature and theater departments.”

“This beautiful new volume, a collection of three plays translated by Magda Romanska, is an accessible and illustrative introduction to the work of Bogusław Schaeffer.  While the plays collected in this anthology offer a rich source for those looking to engage with Schaeffer’s ideas on performativity and the production of art, they are also (and perhaps more importantly) immensely enjoyable pieces of theatre. Romanska’s translations not only bring Schaeffer’s unique works to an English-speaking audience, but do so in a way that preserves the rhythm, humor, and linguistic play of the originals. They are a pleasure to read and frequently offer irreverent, surprising, and entertaining perspectives on contemporary art.”
– The Cosmopolitan Review