Cover image for CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF AMERICAN THEATRE, 1870-1945 V.2
Title:
CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF AMERICAN THEATRE, 1870-1945 V.2
Author:
Wilmeth, Don B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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ISBN:
9780521651790
Format :
Book

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PN2221 .C37 1998 VOL.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Volume Two begins in the post-Civil War period and traces the development of American theater up to 1945. It discusses the role of vaudeville, European influences, the rise of the Little Theater movement, changing audiences, modernism, the Federal Theater movement, major actors and the rise of the star system, and the achievements of notable playwrights. This volume places American theater in its social, economic, and political context.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Volume 2 of this projected three-part history continues to provide an authoritative, wide-ranging history that looks at US theaters in the broadest context possible and to explore the role the theater played in defining the American national character. Picking up where the first volume left off, Wilmeth (Brown Univ.), Bigsby (Univ. of East Anglia, UK), and another group of topflight theater scholars examine the role of vaudeville, European influences, the rise of the Little Theater movement, changing audiences, major performers, architecture, the rise of the star system, and the work of important playwrights. One of the volume's many strengths is its references to often-overlooked works from the past--e.g., Gertstenberg's Overtones and its influence on US expressionism. Helpful subheadings divide each essay. The book is a terrific read, the scholarship excellent, the time line a highlight, and the bibliography complete. It clearly supplements The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre, ed. by Wilmeth and Tice Miller (CH, Jun'93), and Theatre in the United States, a Documentary History. v. 1: 1750-1915: Theater in the Colonies and United States, ed. by Barry B. Witham (CH, Mar'97). A must for all college and university libraries, which should also acquire volume 1 (subtitled Beginnings to 1870, CH, Sep'98) if they do not already own it. M. D. Whitlatch Buena Vista University


Table of Contents

IntroductionChristopher Bigsby and Don B. Wilmeth
Timeline: 1870+1945: compiledDon B. Wilmeth and Jonathan Curley
1 The hieroglyphic state: American theatre and society, post Civil War to 1945Thomas Postlewait
2 A changing theatre: New York and beyondJohn Frick
3 The plays and playwrights: civil war to 1896Tice L. Miller
Plays and playwrights: 1896+1915Ronald Wainscott
Plays and playwrights: 1915+1945Brenda Murphy
4 Theatre groups and their playwrightsMark Fearnow
5 Popular entertainmentBrooks McNamara
6 Musical theatreThomas Riis
7 Actors and actingDaniel J. Watermeier
8 Scenography, stagecraft, and architectureMary C. Henderson
9 Directors and directionWarren Kliewer