This book proposes a correlation between the divided 'mind' of America during the Depression and popular stage works of the era. Theatre works such as Jack Kirkland's comic-horrific adaptation of Tobacco Road, Olsen and Johnson's 'scream-lined revue', Hellzapoppin, and successful plays by Robert E. Sherwood, Clare Boothe Luce and S. N. Behrman are interpreted as theatrical reflections of Depression culture's sense of being trapped between a discredited past and a nightmarish future. The author analyses America of the 1930s as an era of the 'grotesque', in which the irreconcilable were forced into tense and dynamic coexistence, and by examining these works of theatre as products of particular historical circumstances, argues for a strong connection between cultural history and theatre history.Read more
- Provides an interdisciplinary approach to theatre
- Focuses attention on popular stage works of the period
- Applies the theory of the grotesque to American culture of the 1930s
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- Date Published: February 2007
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521033626
- length: 228 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.35kg
- contains: 4 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Introduction: loving the grotesque
1. The grotesque and the Great Depression
2. The political analogy
or, 'tragicomedy' in an in-between age
3. Misery burlesqued: the peculiar case of Tobacco Road
4. Chaos and cruelty in the theatrical space: Horse Eats Hat, Hellzapoppin, and the pleasure of farce
Appendix: cast and staff information for principal productions
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