The American Stage

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This book focuses on the economic and social forces which shaped American theatre throughout its 250-year history. The collection of essays, written by leading theatre historians and critics of the American theatre, represent a variety of methodologies and approaches, and reflect the disparity and diversity of the social and economic issues which have moulded the cultural heritage of America. Arranged chronologically, the volume explores such topics as anti-theatrical legislation in Colonial America; the theatre's response to slavery, prostitution, alcoholism and women's rights; the significance of black American musical comedy; women managers in nineteenth-century American theatre; economic welfare in the Federal Theatre Project; theatre nostalgia during the Reagan era; and issues of multiculturalism in theatre. Alone or as a collection, the essays will stimulate discussions concerning the traditionally held views of America's theatrical heritage.