Eis, Joel D. Books

About the author: Professor Joel D. Eis holds an MA in Directing and Design and an MFA in Performance Art. He completed this book while on the Theatre Arts faculty at the University of North Dakota. He is the author of two dozen articles and several produced plays, has produced over 200 scenic and lighting designs. Professor Eis has completed a stagecraft text and a manuscript on 20th century performance art and avant-garde theater.

Full Investigation of the Historic Performance of the First Play in English in the New World
2003 0-7734-6560-X
Ye Bare & Ye Cubbe, the first play in English in the New World, was performed in a tavern near what is now the tiny hamlet of Pungoteague in Virginia on August 27, 1665. It had a clear political intent. The three young men who participated in the performance were taken to court but ‘acquitted of any wrong doing’ in one of America’s first trials over freedom of expression. August 27th was a Sunday, and they might have been charged with Violation of the Sabbath, but the Court ordered the entire play performed, complete with props and costumes. The work makes a fully supported case that the authorities were seeking higher charges based on the content of the play. Everything points to a political foundation for the performance yet virtually nothing surrounding this event has turned out as it first appears. This obscure rural event may have a value in forming ideas relative to the First Amendment that have heretofore been unexplored. The many Virginians, all lawyers or scholars in law, who were pivotal in framing the praxis for the American Revolution, could not have been ignorant of this unique case in Virginia law. This monograph solidly repositions this event in terms of American pre-revolutionary history and the history of theatre in the New World, weaving together the threads of a previously incomplete story. It contains illustrations and rare documents and maps. It will interest not only theater historians, but scholars of American history and law as well.

Function of the Ekkyklema in Greek Theatre: The Sculptural Display of Murdered Victims and the Success of Greek Tragedy for the State
2015 0-7734-3527-1
A new take on the topic with considerable new scholarship about how the ekkyklema worked semiotically, dramaturgically and politically within Greek tragedy. In this fascinating and well-documented cultural study the author explores the proposition that the success of Greek tragedy was connected to the pre-mediated use of religious tropes in the drama, thus triggering profoundly ancient and effective traditional loyalties.