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Look Inside Early American Theatre from the Revolution to Thomas Jefferson

Early American Theatre from the Revolution to Thomas Jefferson
Into the Hands of the People


Part of Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama

  • Date Published: March 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521035477

£ 32.99

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About the Authors
  • Theatre has often served as a touchstone for moments of political change or national definition and as a way of exploring cultural and ethnic identity. In this 2003 book, Heather Nathans examines the growth and influence of the theatre in the development of the young American Republic, from the Revolution through to the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800. Unlike many works on the early American theatre, this book explores the lives and motives of the people working behind the scenes to establish a new national drama. Some of the most famous figures in American history, from George Washington to Sam Adams, from John Hancock to Alexander Hamilton, battled over the creation of the American theatre. The book traces their motives and strategies - suggesting that for many of these men, the question of whether or not Americans should go to the playhouse meant the difference between the success and failure of the Revolutionary mission.

    • The only full-length book that deals with this topic during this period
    • Unlike most traditional studies of the post-Revolutionary theatre, this book focuses on the crucial social, political and financial context
    • Offers an interdisciplinary approach to the process of cultural formation, integrating the work of theatre historians, cultural historians, Americanists and sociologists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… scholars interested in the history of the early American theatre, and the impact of social and political forces on its development, will find much here of interest.' Journal of American Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521035477
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.392kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of tables
    1. Extravagance and dissipation
    2. Revolutionary transformations
    3. 'A democracy of glee'
    4. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker
    5. A commercial community
    6. Into the hands of the people
    Epilogue: 'from an infant stage'

  • Author

    Heather S. Nathans, University of Maryland, College Park
    Heather S. Nathans is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University. Her articles on the early national theater have appeared in the Pennsylvania History Journal, The New England Theatre Journal, and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre.

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