Theater in America: 250 Years of Plays, Players, and Productions

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Abrams, 1996 - Performing Arts - 352 pages
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For a new generation of theatergoers, here is an updated edition of Theater in America, winner of the George Freedley Memorial Award for theatrical literature. Over the past 200 years, American theater has become an unparalleled expression of American life and thought. Drawing on her vast experience as a teacher of theatrical history and as Curator of the Theatre Collection of the Museum of the City of New York, Mary C. Henderson explores the ever-changing world of the American stage, from the days of strolling players into the modern era of Broadway hits, public funding, and unionization. She evaluates significant trends in playwriting, in the taste of audiences, and in acting theory and practice; analyzes the economic structure of the theater; and traces developments in stagecraft and playhouse design. Her book is also about how dramas and musicals actually get on the stage. Henderson describes the roles of the producer, playwright, director, choreographer, actors, and costume, set, and lighting designers, introducing along the way a galaxy of stars. Henderson's selection of more than 400 illustrations includes original art for set and costume designs, candid onstage photographs, star and cast portraits, and a wealth of never-before-published theatrical iconography. Thirty-four new plates highlight the variety and richness of the most recent live American entertainment. A time chart shows what was happening and who was working on and off Broadway and in regional theaters during the decades between 1750 and the close of the twentieth century. Revised in this edition are the extensive bibliography and the index, which includes life dates of major theatrical figures.

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Theater in America: 250 years of plays, players, and productions

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An update of Henderson's Theater in America: 200 Years of Plays, Players, and Productions (LJ 1/87), this lavishly illustrated popular history of U.S. theater is unique in separately chronicling each ... Read full review

Theater in America: 200 years of plays, players, and productions

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Theater historian and former theater curator Henderson has written a full-scale, scholarly history of the American theater. Her book differs from similar works (e.g., by Ethan Mordden, Howard Taubman ... Read full review



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About the author (1996)

John Lahr is senior theatre critic for The New Yorker and the author of seventeen books on culture and theater.
Mary C. Henderson is an internationally known scholar and expert on American theater and the author of Theater in America.

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