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Censorship of the American Theatre in the Twentieth Century
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    Censorship of the American Theatre in the Twentieth Century
    • Online ISBN: 9780511486111
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Book description

John Houchin explores the impact of censorship in twentieth-century American theatre, arguing that theatrical censorship coincided with significant challenges to religious, political and cultural systems. The study provides a summary of theatre censorship in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and analyses key episodes from 1900 to 2000. These include attempts to censure Olga Nethersole for her production of Sappho in 1901 and the theatre riots of 1913 that greeted the Abbey Theatre's production of Playboy of the Western World. Houchin explores the efforts to suppress plays in the 1920s that dealt with transgressive sexual material and investigates Congress' politically motivated assaults on plays and actors during the 1930s and 1940s. He investigates the impact of racial violence, political assassinations and the Vietnam War on the trajectory of theatre in the 1960s and concludes by examining the response to gay activist plays such as Angels in America.


'… scholars interested in controversial American theatrical productions in the twentieth century will find the book to be a very good starting point.'

Source: Journal of American Studies

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Susan Duffy and . “Watchdogs of the American Theatre 1910–1940.” Journal of American Culture 6 (Spring 1983): 52–59

Harley Erdman . “Jewish Anxiety in ‘Days of Judgment.’ Community Conflict, Anti-Semitism, and the ‘God of Vengeance’ Obscenity Case.” Theatre Survey 40 (1999): 51–74

Marybeth Hamilton Mae West Live: Sex, The Drag, and 1920's Broadway.” Drama Review 36 (1992): 82–100

Claudia Johnson . “That Guilty Third Tier: Prostitution in Nineteenth Century American Theatres.” American Quarterly 27 (1975): 575–584

David K Rod . “Trial by Jury: An Alternative Form of Theatrical Censorship in New York, 1921–1925.” Theatre Survey 26 (1985): 47–61

Loren K Ruff . “Joseph Harper and Boston's Board Alley Theatre, 1792–1793.” Educational Theatre Journal 26 (March 1974): 45–48

Michael Smith . “The Good Scene: Off Off-Broadway.” Tulane Drama Review 10 (Summer 1966): 159–175