American Theatrical Regulation 1607-1900: Conspectus and Texts

Overview

The professional American theatre, like its British counterpart, has never been entirely free from legal restraint. For hundreds of years and for many reasons, the American government, like that of Great Britain, has exercised its police powers by passing statutes to control the theatre. Theatrical persons and property, moreover, have been subject to the principles of common law, as framed by immemorial custom and interpreted by the courts. The scope and nature of statutory and common-law American theatrical ...

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Overview

The professional American theatre, like its British counterpart, has never been entirely free from legal restraint. For hundreds of years and for many reasons, the American government, like that of Great Britain, has exercised its police powers by passing statutes to control the theatre. Theatrical persons and property, moreover, have been subject to the principles of common law, as framed by immemorial custom and interpreted by the courts. The scope and nature of statutory and common-law American theatrical regulation are revealed in the three parts of this book. "A Conspectus of American Theatrical Legislation" details the relationship between English and American theatrical statutes and provides a chronological overview of the development of theatrical licenses, taxes, copyrights, contracts, "blue" laws, the employment of minors, and safety regulations from colonial times until 1900. This essay also explores the legal rights and responsibilities of theatre owners, lessees, managers, playwrights, actors, and audiences. "A Compendium of Theatrical Cases" gives summaries of Anglo-American cases that set precedents in theatrical statutes of the American states, territories, and federal government. An introduction to the book provides context as well as definitions of legal terms that appear throughout, and there is an extensive index of names, subjects, and cases.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
...accomplishes what it sets out to do. All levels.
Booknews
Reveals the scope and nature of the statutory and common-law regulation of the professional American theatre from its inception until the end of the 19th century. Consisting of three parts, the volume contains a conspectus, or overview, of the historical development of American theatrical legislation; a compendium of representative cases that were precedent to the articulation of the law as it applied to the theatre; and the actual texts of statutes relating to the theatre (arranged alphabetically by state and chronologically within each state). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810828254
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Pages: 447
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

George B. Bryan (B.A., Centenary College of Louisiana; M.R.E., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University) is a professor of theatre history and criticism and former director of the Center for Research on Vermont at the University of Vermont. The author of numerous articles and books, such as Stage Deaths: A Biographical Guide to International Theatrical Obituaries, 1850 to 1900 (2 vols., Greenwood), Bryan focuses his research primarily on theatrical biography and regional theatre history.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I A Conspectus of American Theatrical Legislation 1
Pt. II A Compendium of Theatrical Cases 109
Pt. III Texts of Theatrical Statutes 159
Index 411
About the Author 431
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