Volume Two begins in the post-Civil War period and traces the development of American theater up to 1945. It discusses the role of vaudeville, European influences, the rise of the Little Theater movement, changing audiences, modernism, the Federal Theater movement, major actors and the rise of the star system, and the achievements of notable playwrights. This volume places American theater in its social, economic, and political context.
Wilmeth and Bigsby's history is the finest written about the American theater in many years.
From the Publisher
"The Cambridge History of American Theater is an indispensable resource for students and teachers ... The volume does a marvelous job of placing American theater in a cultural, historical, and theatrical context." Resources for American Literary Study
Introduction Christopher Bigsby and Don B. Wilmeth; Timeline: 1870–1945: compiled by Don B. Wilmeth and Jonathan Curley; 1. The hieroglyphic state: American theatre and society, post Civil War to 1945 Thomas Postlewait; 2. A changing theatre: New York and beyond John Frick; 3. Plays and playwrights: Plays and playwrights: civil war to 1896 Tice L. Miller; Plays and playwrights: 1896–1915 Ronald Wainscott; Plays and playwrights: 1915–45 Brenda Murphy; 4. Theatre groups and their playwrights Mark Fearnow; 5. Popular entertainment Brooks McNamara; 6. Musical theatre Thomas Riis; 7. Actors and acting Daniel J. Watermeier; 8. Scenography, stagecraft, and architecture Mary C. Henderson; 9. Directors and direction Warren Kliewer.