The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era

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Overview

"The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy is the first biographical reference work dedicated to theater and sexuality. It makes the presence of gays and lesbians in American theater visible and accessible by collecting in a single volume biographies of more than one hundred notable figures whose careers flourished in the years before the 1969 Stonewall Riots marked the beginning of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement in the United States." "The leading lights in American theater have included innumerable individuals whose sexualities have deviated from prevailing norms, but this history has until recently been largely unwritten and unknown. The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy contributes significantly to the recovery of this history, fashioning a much fuller, more nuanced portrait of American theater as it evolved and shedding light on the influence that sexual desire may have had on professional choices, relationships, and artistic achievements." The book collects biographies and portraits of influential actors, playwrights, composers, directors, designers, dancers, producers, managers, critics, choreographers, and technicians who made their mark on the American theater. It is the last component in a historical recovery project that includes the essay collections Passing Performances and Staging Desire, but with a significantly broader scope than its predecessors. Its broad coverage provides an extended glimpse into lives and careers that intersected, and into networks of affiliation that made theatrical history, and, by extension, social and cultural history. The biographies in The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy will engage readers interested in theater, gay and lesbian history, American Studies, and biography.
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