American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1930-1969

American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1930-1969

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Description

This book concludes Gerald Bordman's survey of American non-musical theatre. It deals with the years 1930 to 1970, a period when the production of new plays was declining, but, at the same time, a period when American drama fully entered the world stage and became a dominant presence. Despite the looming presence of the film industry, this period was a golden age rich in plays, playwrights, and performers. From Eugene O'Neill's A Long Day's Journey into Night and Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire to Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, American theatre finally reached adulthood both dramatically and psychologically. In addition, many brilliant acting careers were launched or climaxed on the American stage, including Henry Fonda and Jessica Tandy, and foreign stars, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Bordman's study covers every Broadway production, and, increasingly in the 1950s and 1960s, every major off-Broadway show. His discussion moves season by season and show by show in chronological order; he offers plot synopses and details the physical production, directors, players, theaters, and newspaper reviews. Bordman stops at 1970, because, in his view, the decline in quantity and quality had reached an all time low, with British playwrights providing the only memorable dramas on the English-speaking stage. This book and the preceding volumes of The American Theatre stands as the standard history of American drama in all its aspects.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 200 x 240 x 44mm | 1,219.98g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195090799
  • 9780195090796

Review quote

American Theatre' is packed with such juicy bits of information that it's safe to say the book will leave no theatrelover unsatisfied. * What's Up * Theater aficiandos will revel in Bordman's newest addition to his acclaimed 'American Theatre' series....This volume stands as the premier record of American theater for the mid-20th century. A lively, sweeping reference source highly recommended for both academic and large public libraries. * Choice *show more

About Gerald Bordman

Gerald Bordman is the author of many books, including American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle, Jerome Kern: His Life and Music, and Days to be Happy, Years to be Sad: The Life and Music of Vincent Youmans.show more

Back cover copy

Here is the third volume in Gerald Bordman's acclaimed survey of American non-musical theatre. It deals with the seasons 1930-31 through 1968-69, a period which saw the number of yearly new plays decline at the same time as American drama fully entered the world stage and became a dominant presence. With works like Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, American theatre finally reached adulthood both dramatically and psychologically. A number of distinguished theatrical careers reached their zenith during these years, including those of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Helen Hayes, Katharine Cornell, and Henry Fonda. And as many brilliant theatrical careers were launched, among them those of Julie Harris, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Jason Robards, Uta Hagen, and Geraldine Page. This volume chronicles every Broadway production as well as every major off-Broadway show as its coverage extends into the 50s and 60s. Noted theatrical historian Gerald Bordman moves from play to play and from season to season, offering plot summaries, production details, the names of directors, leading players and roles, as well as quotes from drama critics and any special or unusual aspects of individual shows.show more

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