The theatre's history is varied and bizarre, and scholars are forever trying to isolate or define the many theatrical values of the past and present. To this task, four recent books contribute:
> George Freedley & John A. Reeves's A History of the Theatre (Crown; $3), a fat review of what has happened from Egypt's Pyramid Texts of 4000-3200 B.C. to Manhattan's Panama Hattie of 1941 A.D.
> Mordecai Gorelik's New Theatres for Old (Samuel French; $4.50), an elaborate discussion of the historical ways of staging scripts, with many suggestions as to future possibilities.
> The Stage in Action by Samuel Selden (Crofts;...