American Drama From the Colonial Period Through World War I

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Gary A. Richardson, Jordan Y. Miller
Twayne Publishers, 1993 - 320 strani
Though previously ignored as the nation's literary stepchild, the country's early drama emerges in American Drama from the Colonial Period through World War I as a dynamic cultural institution in which the social, political, economic, and artistic issues of the moment found representation for diverse, often contentious audiences. Suggesting the need to reexamine these neglected works, Gary A. Richardson argues that a more contemporary critical perspective results in a greater understanding of these plays' impact upon their original audiences, a clearer sense of the achievements of their authors, and the recovery of a long-lost segment of America's heritage. The volume moves chronologically through the nation's dramatic history, balancing observations about formal, aesthetic, and theatrical concerns with an examination of the influence of broad cultural forces upon the direction of the drama. Beginning with theater and drama's emergence in the colonial period, Richardson explores drama's role in the American Revolution and, later, the nationalistic efforts of William Dunlap and James Nelson Barker to create a uniquely American drama. He continues by counterpointing the romantic configurations of William Howard Payne, Robert Montgomery Bird, and George Henry Boker with the work of writers such as James Kirke Paulding, John Augustus Stone, Joseph S. Jones, and George Aiken, who developed distinctly American character types and themes specifically designed to appeal to a popular audience. Richardson next highlights the complex cultural business of the melodramas of Dion Boucicault, Augustin Daly, David Belasco, Joaquin Miller, and Bronson Howard and the fitful emergence of a realistic dramain the plays of William Dean Howells, Steele MacKaye, James A. Herne, and William Gillette. He ends by examining the turn-of-the century works of Langdon Mitchell, Clyde Fitch, William Vaughn Moody, Edward Sheldon, Rachel Crothers, and Susan Glaspell, the writers who set the stage for the appearance of such modern masters as Eugene O'Neill. A concise history of the genre, American Drama from the Colonial Period through World War I is essential reading for students and scholars interested in the dramatic foundations of American culture. A selected bibliography, a detailed chronology of world events and major plays, and period illustrations of several productions are included.

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American drama from the Colonial period through World War I: a critical history

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This critical survey examines early American stage productions. While the book covers some familiar ground, it soon enters into an analysis which contends that some of these plays deserve closer ... Celotno mnenje


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O avtorju (1993)

Richardson earned a B.A. (1971) and an M.A. (1975) from Northeast Louisiana University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1983. He came to Mercer in 1983.

His interests include 19th-century Irish and Irish-American drama, 18th-century literature and culture, and the Harry Potter books.

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