Angels in the American Theater: Patrons, Patronage, and Philanthropy / Edition 3

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Angels in the American Theater: Patrons, Patronage, and Philanthropy examines the significant roles that theater patrons have played in shaping and developing theater in the United States. Because box office income rarely covers the cost of production, other sources are vital. Angels—financial investors and backers—have a tremendous impact on what happens on stage, often determining with the power and influence of their money what is conceived, produced, and performed. But in spite of their influence, very little has been written about these philanthropists.

Composed of sixteen essays and fifteen illustrations, Angels in the American Theater explores not only how donors became angels but also their backgrounds, motivations, policies, limitations, support, and successes and failures. Subjects range from millionaires Otto Kahn and the Lewisohn sisters to foundation giants Ford, Rockefeller, Disney, and Clear Channel. The first book to focus on theater philanthropy, Angels in the American Theater employs both a historical and a chronological format and focuses on individual patrons, foundations, and corporations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The story of the American theater, especially since 1900, can be told in large measure through its private patronage and support—financial and personal. This superb book captures the intrigue, egos, unselfishness, and even cliff-hanging moments of the past century’s dependence on theater ‘angels’ in their many manifestations.”—Don B. Wilmeth, coeditor of the three-volume Cambridge History of American Theatre

Angels in the American Theater should be required reading for administrators and students alike. The essays are informative and readable, and the introduction by editor Robert A. Schanke is especially useful as an overview of theatre funding over the last century.”—Gil Lazier, Dean of Theatre Emeritus, Florida State University.

 “Angels in the American Theater has the salutary effect of making us all consider those individuals who inspire, guide, and shape what gets on stage but who rarely are acknowledged as collaborators in the artistic process.”
Harley Erdman, author of Staging the Jew: The Performance of an American Ethnicity, 1860–1920

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809327478
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Theater in the Americas Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert A. Schanke, a professor emeritus of theatre at Central College, Iowa, has contributed to numerous journals, reference books and anthologies. He is the author of “That Furious Lesbian”: The Story of Mercedes de Acosta, winner of the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, Ibsen in America: A Century of Change, Eva Le Gallienne: A Bio-Bibliography, and Shattered Applause: The Lives of Eva Le Gallienne.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction: "He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune"   Robert A. Schanke     1
Individual Angels
Modern Cosmopolitan: Otto H. Kahn and the American Stage   Theresa M. Collins     21
Copper Heiresses Take the Stage: Alice and Irene Lewisohn   Melanie Blood     38
Wheedled, Bullied, or Cajoled: Banking on Eva Le Gallienne   Robert A. Schanke     54
Queen of Off Broadway: Lucille Lorcel   Alexis Greene     71
Patronage and Playwriting: Richard B. and Jeanne Donovan Fisher's Support of Charles Mee   Jennifer Schlueter     88
Everyone's an Angel   Dan Friedman     104
An Alternative Theater Angel: Grant Goodman   David A. Crespy     120
Producer, Benefactor, and Playhouse Maker: David Geffen   John R. Poole     136
The Art of Good Business: Peter Donnelly   Barry B. Witham     153
Institutional Angels
The Founding of Theater Arts Philanthropy in America: W. McNeil Lowry and the Ford Foundation, 1957-65   Sheila McNerney Anderson     173
Funding "MaMa": The MacArthur Foundation and Ellen Stewart   Bruce Kirle     190
A Community of Angels for Actors Theatre ofLouisville   Jeffrey Ullom     208
Raising the Curtain: Rockefeller Support for the American Theater   Stephen D. Berwind     225
Funding the Theatrical Future: The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust   Jeffrey Eric Jenkins     242
Modern Medicis: Disney on Broadway   Kathy L. Privatt     259
Static in the Signal: Clear Channel Communications and Theater in the United States   Anthony J. Vickery     276
Resources     297
Contributors     301
Index     307
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