Many commentators have routinely referred to theatre and, to an extent, all forms of live performance as particularly appropriate to the discussion of national identity. Put simply, the act of live performance itself draws attention to the idea that identities are performed and that different versions of identity can compete for our attention or allegiance. This collection of chapters from a wide variety of contexts will of course seek primarily to open up questions regarding the validity of the very category of 'small nation' and the role of theatre and performance in such contexts. While it would be a distortion to suggest that all small nations have a 'history of strong state intervention into cultural practices', it is nevertheless legitimate to claim that the idea of small nationhood is inevitably bound up with questions of power and that the majority of small nations are, or have been, involved in contested definitions of identity of a particularly intense nature. Frequently, especially in cases where nationhood does not bring with it the full power of the state, cultural practice becomes a crucial site where such contested definitions are played out.