This is the first book to focus on the economic and social forces that shaped American theater throughout its two hundred and fifty year history. The collection of essays, written by leading theater historians and critics of American theater, represent a variety of methodologies and approaches. Arranged chronologically, the volume explores such topics as anti-theatrical legislation in Colonial America; the theater's response to slavery, prostitution, alcoholism, and women's rights; the significance of Black American musical comedy; women managers in nineteenth-century American theater; economic welfare in the Federal Theater Project; theater nostalgia during the Reagan era; and contemporary issues of multiculturalism in today's theater. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of American theater and social and cultural history.
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