The Sixties, Center Stage offers rich insights into the innovative and provocative political underpinnings of mainstream and popular performances in the 1960s. While much critical attention has been focused on experimental and radical theater of the period, the essays confirm that mainstream performances not only merit more scholarly attention than they have received, but through serious examination provide an important key to understanding the 1960s as a period.
The introduction provides a broad overview of the social, political, and cultural contexts of artistic practices in mainstream theater from the mid-fifties to mid-seventies. Readers will find detailed examinations of the mainstream’s surprising attention to craft and innovation; to the rich exchange between European and American theatres; to the rise of regional theaters; and finally, to popular cultural performances that pushed the conceptual boundaries of mainstream institutions. The book looks afresh at productions of Hair, Cabaret, Raisin in the Sun, and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as German theater, and performances outside the Democratic National Convention of 1968.