The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy

Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected

Non-Fiction - Drama
378 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2019
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Author Biography

In 2018, Edwin Wong founded the Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Playwright Competition with Langham Court Theatre--one of the oldest and most respected theatres in Canada--to challenge conventional Aristotelian, Hegelian, and Nietzschean theories of tragedy. Visit for details.
Wong is an award-winning classicist with a master's degree from Brown University, where he concentrated in ancient theatre. His other research interests include epic poetry, where he has published a solution to the contradiction between Homeric fate and free will by drawing attention to the peculiar mechanics of chess endgames. He lives in Victoria, Canada and blogs at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Edwin Wong’s The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy is one of those books that invite one to discover new things about old fields. In this case, the subject is tragedy, one of the classic forms of art. Wong reaffirms its importance in our time because we are living in a world that has been hugely influenced by artificial intelligence, technology, and globalization. Tragedy has some similarities with modern conducts. In our time, tragic heroes are those who take risks that have a profound impact on society. This is why Wong suggests a new model of tragedy: the risk theatre. What does he mean by “risk theatre”? Risk theatre interprets the best ages of tragedy in a modern key. Risk is the main topic of tragedy, and heroes are like gamblers who pay the price of discovery.

Through a series of interesting dissertations and examples, Wong clarifies his point of view in a persuasive way. The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy is a clear essay, where every part has been structured to make the general picture as precise as possible. Wong is an analytical writer and it is easy to follow his line of reasoning through his consistent exposition. He gives several enlightening examples that often draw to original conclusions. I appreciated the references to classic tragedies and the invitation to create the theatre of tomorrow. The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy is a book that will interest both specialists and book lovers who want to know “how it works.” It is also a recommended reading for modern risk takers.