The Emergence of the Modern American Theater, 1914-1929

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9780300067767: The Emergence of the Modern American Theater, 1914-1929
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From World War I to the stock-market crash of 1929, New York theatre enjoyed a period of unequaled creative output and experimentation that redefined the direction of American theater - both mainstream and avant-garde - for decades to come, says Ronald Wainscott. In this handsomely illustrated book, Wainscott explores the emergence of the modern American theater in New York during a turbulent era of clashing artistic tastes and conflicting cultural, economic, and political events. He provides the first complete historical and cultural examination of the period he deems Broadway's most prolific and influential, and he offers an immense trove of material on plays and productions from 1914 to 1929.

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This examination of a formative 15-year period in American drama represents the latest developments in theater criticism. By including popular entertainment as well as the highest art produced during these years, Wainscott (theater, Indiana Univ.) shows a theater reflecting cultural and social issues instead of examining it as an aesthetic statement. He follows several issues separately through this period, discussing World War I and its impact on American culture, a little-known war between the U.S. Congress and the theater over taxation, the fad for erotic plays and censorship battles, and other themes. His central chapter, and the gem of the book, is the extended discussion of expressionism in its peculiarly American version. This text calls for a reevaluation of familiar materials and republication of important popular plays that are long gone. Highly recommended.?Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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