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Book Cover
Author Saal, Ilka, author.

Title New Deal theater : the vernacular tradition in American political theater / Ilka Saal
Edition 1st ed
Published New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007


Description 1 online resource (232 pages)
Contents Brecht on Broadway: reconsidering political theater -- Disjunctive aesthetics: a genealogy of political theater -- Strike songs: working- and middle-class revolutionaries -- Plays of cash and cabbages: from proletarian melodrama to revolutionary realism -- Why sing skies above?: labor musicals and living newspapers -- Toward postmodernism: the political theater of the 1960s
Summary New Deal Theater recovers a much ignored model of political theater for cultural criticism. While considered to be less radical in its aesthetics and politics than its celebrated Weimar and Soviet cousins, it nonetheless proved to be highly effective in asserting cultural critique. In this regard it offers a vital alternative to the dominant modernist paradigm developed in Europe. Rather than radicalizing content and form, New Deal theater insisted that the political had to be made commensurable with the language of a mass audience steeped in consumer culture. The resulting vernacular praxis emphasized empathy over alienation, verisimilitude over abstraction. By examining the cultural vectors that shaped this theater, Saal shows why it was more successful on the American stage than its European counterpart and develops a theory of vernacular political theater which can help us think of the political in art in other than modernist terms
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-221) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Theater -- Political aspects -- United States -- 20th century
American drama -- 20th century -- History and criticism
Politics and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Political plays, American -- History and criticism
Political science & theory.
Literary studies: general.
DRAMA -- American.
Politics and Government.
American drama
Political plays, American
Politics and literature
Theater -- Political aspects
United States
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780230608832