Astrolabe / aestrae leOb/ n. an instrument consisting of a disc and pointer, used to make astronomical measurements, especially of the altitudes of celestial bodies, and as an aid in navigation. Over the last two decades Canadian drama has emerged as an important presence in international theatre. In The Buried Astrolabe Craig Walker offers a critical introduction to contemporary Canadian playwriting, providing a context for the study of Canadian drama and showing how it developed from Western European philosophical, literary, and dramatic traditions. Walker devotes the main body of his work to critical readings of James Reaney, Michael Cook, Sharon Pollock, Michel Tremblay, George F. Walker, and Judith Thompson, respecting the distinctive elements of the writer's voice while helping the reader appreciate the cultural context that informs each play. He analyses the poetics or mythological underpinning of the works and investigates the cultural significance of the tropes that typify their works. The Buried Astrolabe stakes the claim of Canadian playwrights to be considered among the most important in the contemporary world.