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Acting Now
Conversations on Craft and Career
Vilga, Edward
Rutgers University Press, 1997
 If you thought the most challenging aspects of a career in acting would involve choosing the "right" roles and dodging the paparatzzi, think again.  Success requires a tremendous amount of hard work, creativity, and dedication, as you'll learn from some of the industry's most respected name, in Acting Now.  
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Actors and American Culture, 1880-1920
Benjamin Mcarthur
University of Iowa Press, 2000
The forty years from 1880 to 1920 marked the golden age of the American theatre as a national institution, a time when actors moved from being players outside the boundaries of respectable society to being significant figures in the social landscape. As the only book that provides an overview of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theatre,Actors and American Culture is also the only study of the legitimate stage that overtly attempts to connect actors and their work to the wider aspects of American life.
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The Actor's Art
Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers
Davison, Richard A
Rutgers University Press, 2001
Biographies are so much more than lists of teachers, roles, and awards. The Actor’s Art conveys stories about numerous productions, insight about becoming and being an actor, and opinions about issues such as color-blind casting and the future of theatre. Together, these conversations form lively, thought-provoking sketches of such stars as Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, Ruby Dee, Julie Harris, Cherry Jones, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Nathan Lane, and Jason Robards. The Actor’s Art demonstrates the value of listening, and the pleasures of reading.
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Actors, Athletes, and Astronauts
Political Amateurs in the United States Congress
David T. Canon
University of Chicago Press, 1990
The U.S. Congress is typically seen as an institution filled with career politicians who have been seasoned by experience in lower levels of political office. In fact, political amateurs have comprised roughly one quarter of the House of Representatives since 1930. The effect of amateurs' inexperience on their political careers, roles in Congress, and impact on the political system has never been analyzed in detail.

Written in a lucid style accessible to the nonspecialist, David T. Canon's Actors, Athletes, and Astronauts is a definitive study of political amateurs in elections and in Congress. Canon examines the political conditions that prompt amateurs to run for office, why they win or lose, and whether elected amateurs behave differently from their experienced counterparts. Challenging previous work which presumed stable career structures and progressively ambitious candidates, his study reveals that amateurs are disproportionately elected in periods of high political opportunity, such as the 1930s for Democrats and 1980s for Republicans.

Canon's detailed findings call for significant revision of our prevailing understanding of ambition theory and disarm monolithic interpretations of political amateurs. His unique typology of amateurism differentiates among policy-oriented, "hopeless," or ambitious amateurs. The latter resemble their professional counterparts; "hopeless" amateurs are swept into office by strong partisan motivations and decision-making styles of each type vary, affecting their degree of success, but each type of amateur provides a necessary electoral balance by defeating entrenched incumbents rarely challenged by more experienced politicians.
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American Tragedian
The Life of Edwin Booth
Daniel J. Watermeier
University of Missouri Press, 2015
When John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, his older brother Edwin was devastated. A leading stage star, Edwin Booth thought his career had ended. But with the support of countless theatergoers, over the next thirty years Booth would overcome the shadow of John Wilkes’s infamy and steadily advance a reputation as America’s greatest-ever Shakespearean actor, the American tragedian par excellence.

Daniel J. Watermeier has, through decades of tireless research paired with his own sharp insight, put together the most complete Edwin Booth biography to date. Drawing on a wealth of archival materials and contemporary theatrical scholarship, American Tragedian: The Life of Edwin Booth gives more attention than previous biographies to Booth’s apprentice and journeyman years; his rise in antebellum America to stardom with a new, acclaimed style of acting; his work as an innovative theater builder and theatrical producer; his several foreign tours; and his nationwide tours in the late 1880s. It also addresses Booth’s critical reception in dozens of cities in America and abroad and situates his professional activities within the events and trends of the time.

As interesting as it is informative, Watermeier’s book offers an in-depth look at the triumphal career and tumultuous life of one of the American stage’s most celebrated figures.
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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 1, Abaco to Belfille
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1973

Tobe completed in 12volumes, this monumental work here begins publica­tion with the first two volumes—Abaco to Bertie and Bertin to Byzard. When completed, it is expected that the bio­graphical dictionary will include informa­tion on more than 8,500 individuals.

Hundreds of printed sources have been searched for this project, and dozens of repositories combed, and the names of personnel listed have been filtered through parish registers whenever possible. From published and unpublished sources, from wills, archives of professional societies and guilds, from records of colleges, uni­versities, and clubs, and from the contri­butions of selfless scholars, the authors have here assembled material which il­luminates theatrical and musical activity in London in the 1660–1800 period.

The information here amassed will doubtless be augmented by other spe­cialists in Restoration and eighteenth-century theatre and drama, but it is not likely that the number of persons now known surely or conjectured finally to have been connected with theatrical en­terprise in this period will ever be in­creased considerably. Certainly, the contributions made here add immeasurably to existing knowledge, and in a number of instances correct standard histories or reference works.

The accompanying illustrations, esti­mated to be some 1,400 likenesses—at least one picture of each subject for whom a portrait exists—may prove to be a use­ful feature of the Work. The authors have gone beyond embellishment of the text, and have attempted to list all origi­nal portraits any knowledge of which is now recoverable, and have tried to ascer­tain the present location of portraits in every medium.

[more]

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 10, M'Intosh to Nash
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1984

Those featured in Volume 10 include Margaret Martyr, a singer, actress, and dancer whose “conjugal virtues were often impeached,” according to the July 1792Thespian Magazine. The Diction­ary describes this least constant of lovers as “of middling height, with a figure well-proportioned for breeches parts. [Her] black-haired, black-eyed beauty and clear soprano made her an immedi­ate popular success in merry maids and tuneful minxes, the piquant and the pert, for a quarter century.”

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 12, Pinner to Rizzo
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1987

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 13, Roach to H. Siddons
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1991

Like the works already published, these latest volumes of the Biographical Dictionary deal with theatre people of every ilk, ranging from dressers and one-performance actors to trumpeter John Shore (inventor of the tuning fork) and the incomparable Sarah Siddons.

Also prominent is Susanna Rowson, a novelist, actress, and early female playwright. Although born into a British military family, Rowson often wrote plays that dealt with patriotic American themes and spent much of her career on the American stage.

The theatrical jewel of these volumes is the "divine Sarah" Siddons: "She raised the tragedy to the skies," wrote William Hazlitt, and "embodied to our imagination the fables of mythology, of the heroic and dignified mortals of elder time." She endured much tragedy herself, including a crippling debilitating illness and the deaths of five of her seven children. Siddons played major roles in both comedy and tragedy, not the least of which was a performance as Hamlet.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 14, S. Siddons to Thynne
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1991

Like the works already published, these latest volumes of the Biographical Dictionary deal with theatre people of every ilk, ranging from dressers and one-performance actors to trumpeter John Shore (inventor of the tuning fork) and the incomparable Sarah Siddons.

Also prominent is Susanna Rowson, a novelist, actress, and early female playwright. Although born into a British military family, Rowson often wrote plays that dealt with patriotic American themes and spent much of her career on the American stage.

The theatrical jewel of these volumes is the "divine Sarah" Siddons: "She raised the tragedy to the skies," wrote William Hazlitt, and "embodied to our imagination the fables of mythology, of the heroic and dignified mortals of elder time." She endured much tragedy herself, including a crippling debilitating illness and the deaths of five of her seven children. Siddons played major roles in both comedy and tragedy, not the least of which was a performance as Hamlet.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 15, Tibbett to M. West
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1993

A major project begun in 1973 reaches its conclusion with the publication of volumes 15 and 16 of the Biographical Dictionary, a series considered "a reference work of the first order" by Theatre and Performing Arts Collections.

Among performers highlighted in these last volumes is Catherine Tofts, a gifted singer whose popular acclaim was captured in lines by Samuel Phillips: "How are we pleas’d when beauteous Tofts appears, / To steal our Souls through our attentive Ears?’ / Ravish’d we listen to th’ inchanting Song, / And catch the falling Accents from her Tongue." The first singer of English birth to master the form of Italian opera, Tofts frequently won leading roles over native Italian singers. Her salary—£400 to £500 a season—was one of the highest in the theatre. Her popularity declined, however, as her demands for payment increased—a situation captured in an epigram Alexander Pope may have penned: "So bright is thy beauty, so charming thy song, / As had drawn both the beasts and their Orpheus along; /But such is thy avarice, and such is thy pride, / That the beasts must have starved, and the poets have died."

John Vanbrugh, whose play The Relapse is ranked as one of the best comedies of the Restoration period, became a subordinate crown architect under Sir Christopher Wren in 1702. In 1703, Vanbrugh began plans for the Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket, an enterprise endorsed by the Kit Cat Club (of which Vanbrugh was a member). Even though his lavish design was acoustically defective, restructuring helped correct the problem and the theatre eventually became the exclusive center for opera in London.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 16, W. West to Zwingman
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1993

A major project begun in 1973 reaches its conclusion with the publication of volumes 15 and 16 of the Biographical Dictionary, a series considered "a reference work of the first order" by Theatre and Performing Arts Collections.

Among performers highlighted in these last volumes is Catherine Tofts, a gifted singer whose popular acclaim was captured in lines by Samuel Phillips: "How are we pleas’d when beauteous Tofts appears, / To steal our Souls through our attentive Ears?’ / Ravish’d we listen to th’ inchanting Song, / And catch the falling Accents from her Tongue." The first singer of English birth to master the form of Italian opera, Tofts frequently won leading roles over native Italian singers. Her salary—£400 to £500 a season—was one of the highest in the theatre. Her popularity declined, however, as her demands for payment increased—a situation captured in an epigram Alexander Pope may have penned: "So bright is thy beauty, so charming thy song, / As had drawn both the beasts and their Orpheus along; /But such is thy avarice, and such is thy pride, / That the beasts must have starved, and the poets have died."

John Vanbrugh, whose play The Relapse is ranked as one of the best comedies of the Restoration period, became a subordinate crown architect under Sir Christopher Wren in 1702. In 1703, Vanbrugh began plans for the Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket, an enterprise endorsed by the Kit Cat Club (of which Vanbrugh was a member). Even though his lavish design was acoustically defective, restructuring helped correct the problem and the theatre eventually became the exclusive center for opera in London.

[more]

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 2, Belfort to Byzand
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1973

Tobe completed in 12volumes, this monumental work here begins publica­tion with the first two volumes—Abaco to Bertie and Bertin to Byzard. When completed, it is expected that the bio­graphical dictionary will include informa­tion on more than 8,500 individuals.

Hundreds of printed sources have been searched for this project, and dozens of repositories combed, and the names of personnel listed have been filtered through parish registers whenever possible. From published and unpublished sources, from wills, archives of professional societies and guilds, from records of colleges, uni­versities, and clubs, and from the contri­butions of selfless scholars, the authors have here assembled material which il­luminates theatrical and musical activity in London in the 1660–1800 period.

The information here amassed will doubtless be augmented by other spe­cialists in Restoration and eighteenth-century theatre and drama, but it is not likely that the number of persons now known surely or conjectured finally to have been connected with theatrical en­terprise in this period will ever be in­creased considerably. Certainly, the contributions made here add immeasurably to existing knowledge, and in a number of instances correct standard histories or reference works.

The accompanying illustrations, esti­mated to be some 1,400 likenesses—at least one picture of each subject for whom a portrait exists—may prove to be a use­ful feature of the Work. The authors have gone beyond embellishment of the text, and have attempted to list all origi­nal portraits any knowledge of which is now recoverable, and have tried to ascer­tain the present location of portraits in every medium.

[more]

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 3, Cabanel to Cory
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1975

Volumes three and four of this monumen­tal work include full entries for all such illustrious names as those of the Cibbers—Colley, Theophilus, and Susanna Maria—Kitty Clive, and Charlotte Charke, George Colman, the Elder, and the Younger, William Davenant, and De Loutherboug. But here also are full entries for dozens of important secondary figures and of minor ones whose stories have never been told, as well as a census (and at least a few recoverable facts) for even the most inconsiderable performers and servants of the theatres.

As in the previous volumes in this dis­tinguished series, the accompanying illus­trations include at least one picture of each subject for whom a portrait exists.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 4, Corye to Dynion
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1975

Volumes three and four of this monumen­tal work include full entries for all such illustrious names as those of the Cibbers—Colley, Theophilus, and Susanna Maria—Kitty Clive, and Charlotte Charke, George Colman, the Elder, and the Younger, William Davenant, and De Loutherboug. But here also are full entries for dozens of important secondary figures and of minor ones whose stories have never been told, as well as a census (and at least a few recoverable facts) for even the most inconsiderable performers and servants of the theatres.

As in the previous volumes in this dis­tinguished series, the accompanying illus­trations include at least one picture of each subject for whom a portrait exists.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 5, Eagan to Garrett
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1978

In contrast to each other, Volume 5 is a sociological portrait of mostly little people in their tragic and comic efforts to achieve fame on the London stage during the Restoration and eighteenth century, whereas Volume 6 is dom­inated by the glamour of David Gar­rick, Nell Gwyn, and Joseph Grimaldi, the celebrated clown. Some 250 por­traits individualize the great and small of the theatres of London.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 6, Garrick to Gyngell
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1978

In contrast to each other, Volume 5 is a sociological portrait of mostly little people in their tragic and comic efforts to achieve fame on the London stage during the Restoration and eighteenth century, whereas Volume 6 is dom­inated by the glamour of David Gar­rick, Nell Gwyn, and Joseph Grimaldi, the celebrated clown. Some 250 por­traits individualize the great and small of the theatres of London.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 7, Habgood to Houbert
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1982

Volume 7 includes such notables as the composers Handel and Haydn and the alluring actress Elizabeth Hartley.

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A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 8, Hough to Keyse
Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers, and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800
Philip H. Highfill, Jr., Kalman A. Burnim, and Edward A. Langhans
Southern Illinois University Press, 1982
Volume 8 dis­cusses, among others, the careers of Charles Incledon, the “English Ballad-Singer,” boxing champion of England, “Gentleman” John Jackson, and members of the famous Kemble family— Charles, Maria Theresa, Frances, Henry, John Philip, Priscilla, Elizabeth, Roger, and Stephen.
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Democratic Brazil
Actors, Institutions, and Processes
Peter Kingstone
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000

After 21 years of military rule, Brazil returned to democracy in 1985. Over the past decade and a half, Brazilians in the Nova República (New Republic) have struggled with a range of diverse challenges that have tested the durability and quality of the young democracy. How well have they succeeded? To what extent can we say that Brazilian democracy has consolidated? What actors, institutions, and processes have emerged as most salient over the past 15 years? Although Brazil is Latin America's largest country, the world's third largest democracy, and a country with a population and GNP larger than Yeltsin's Russia, more than a decade has passed since the last collaborative effort to examine regime change in Brazil, and no work in English has yet provided a comprehensive appraisal of Brazilian democracy in the period since 1985.

Democratic Brazil analyzes Brazilian democracy in a comprehensive, systematic fashion, covering the full period of the New Republic from Presidents Sarney to Cardoso. Democratic Brazil brings together twelve top scholars, the “next generation of Brazilianists,” with wide-ranging specialties including institutional analysis, state autonomy, federalism and decentralization, economic management and business-state relations, the military, the Catholic Church and the new religious pluralism, social movements, the left, regional integration, demographic change, and human rights and the rule of law. Each chapter focuses on a crucial process or actor in the New Republic, with emphasis on its relationship to democratic consolidation. The volume also contains a comprehensive bibliography on Brazilian politics and society since 1985. Prominent Brazilian historian Thomas Skidmore has contributed a foreword to the volume.

Democratic Brazil speaks to a wide audience, including Brazilianists, Latin Americanists generally, students of comparative democratization, as well as specialists within the various thematic subfields represented by the contributors. Written in a clear, accessible style, the book is ideally suited for use in upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on Latin American politics and development.

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Eden-Brazil
Moacyr Scliar, Translated by Malcolm K. McNee
Tagus Press, 2019
Adamastor is a freshly divorced, frustrated bureaucrat trying to reinvent his life. Richie is a young, struggling actor. Together with Ernesto, a rakish, expat Argentine showman, they create Eden-Brazil, an ecotourism destination in a stunning swath of coastal rainforest. Inspired to provide visitors with the ultimate return to nature, they decide to stage the biblical story of the Garden of Eden, complete with Adam, Eve, snake, apple, the works. But recreating an earthly paradise as something more than another roadside attraction is no easy feat. In this charming, tragicomic tale, Moacyr Scliar employs his signature humor and talent for crisp storytelling, weaving together a playfully serious parable of environmentalist ideals clashing with the realities of local politics, global consumer culture, and competing visions of authentic nature., reviewing a previous edition or volume
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Elizabeth Robins, 1862–1952
Actress, Novelist, Feminist
Joanne E. Gates
University of Alabama Press, 1994
Robins’s writing on behalf of women’s rights issues in the first quarter of the twentieth century represents an important contribution to feminist politics

From Childhood, Elizabeth Robins dreamed of a successful career on the stage. Her first impulse to visit England, in 1888, stemmed from her desire to secure better opportunities as an actress, and she soon gained celebrity playing Ibsen’s heroines. While buoyed by this success, she began writing fiction that treated the feminist issues of her time: organized prostitution, women’s positions in war-torn England, and the dangers of rearmament. In her acting, writing, and political activism, she consistently challenged existing roles for women. Robins’s work is marked by a number of true-life components, and this first biography to use the vast collection of her private papers demonstrates how Robins transformed her own life into literary and dramatic capital.

Robins published several novels under the pseudonym C. E. Raimond, culminating in the sensational male-female bildungsroman, The Open Question: A Tale of Two Temperaments, which was set in her native Zanesville, Ohio, and publication of which finally disclosed her identity.

Her fiction is compared to that of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather. Many of her heroines share the characteristics of exhibiting force or willed silence, and Gates's analysis of this trait has implications for feminist theorists in a number of fields.
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Environment in the Global Arena
Actors, Values, Policies, and Futures
Kenneth A. Dahlberg, Marvin S. Soroos, Anne Thompson Feraru, James E. Harf, and B. Thomas Trout
Duke University Press, 1985
Volumes in the Global Issues series address the problems of energy and environment as matters of international concern, and a forthcoming volume provides an overview of all these areas.

The issues in the series are each considered within a systematic framework common to all. Each volume begins with a historical background and then the issues are placed in their contemporary context. Four distinct perspectives are presented: (1) Who are the "global actors" involved in the issue, and what are the linkages among them? (2) What prevailing values are operating, and how have the relevant actors responded to those values? (3) What policies are applied by these actors at the global level, and how are these policies determined? (4) What are the possible results of the values and policies of these global actors?

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The Ethos of Noh
Actors and Their Art
Eric C. Rath
Harvard University Press, 2004

Since the inception of the noh drama six centuries ago, actors have resisted the notion that noh rests on natural talent alone. Correct performance, they claim, demands adherence to traditions. Yet what constitutes noh’s traditions and who can claim authority over them have been in dispute throughout its history. This book traces how definitions of noh, both as an art and as a profession, have changed over time. The author seeks to show that the definition of noh as an art is inseparable from its definition as a profession.

The aim of this book is to describe how memories of the past become traditions, as well as the role of these traditions in the institutional development of the noh theater from its beginnings in the fourteenth century through the late twentieth century. It focuses on the development of the key traditions that constitute the “ethos of noh,” the ideology that empowered certain groups of actors at the expense of others, and how this ethos fostered noh’s professionalization—its growth from a loose occupation into a closed, regulated vocation. The author argues that the traditions that form the ethos of noh, such as those surrounding masks and manuscripts, are the key traits that define it as an art.

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Fangs Of Malice
Hypocrisy Sincerity And Acting
Matthew H Wikander
University of Iowa Press, 2002

The idea that actors are hypocrites and fakes and therefore dangerous to society was widespread in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Fangs of Malice examines the equation between the vice of hypocrisy and the craft of acting as it appears in antitheatrical tracts, in popular and high culture, and especially in plays of the period. Rousseau and others argue that actors, expert at seeming other than they are, pose a threat to society; yet dissembling seems also to be an inevitable consequence of human social intercourse. The “antitheatrical prejudice” offers a unique perspective on the high value that modern western culture places on sincerity, on being true to one's own self.

Taking a cue from the antitheatrical critics themselves, Matthew Wikander structures his book in acts and scenes, each based on a particular slander against actors. A prologue introduces his main issues. Act One deals with the proposition “They Dress Up”: foppish slavery to fashion, cross-dressing, and dressing as clergy. Act Two treats the proposition “They Lie” by focusing on social dissembling and the phenomenon of the self-deceiving hypocrite and the public, princely hypocrite. Act Three, “They Drink,” examines a wide range of antisocial behavior ascribed to actors, such as drinking, gambling, and whoring. An epilogue ties the ancient ideas of possession and the panic that actors inspire to contemporary anxieties about representation not only in theatre but also in the visual and literary arts.

Fangs of Malice will be of great interest to scholars and students of drama as well as to theatre professionals and buffs.

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Fanny Kemble’s Journals
Fanny Kemble
Harvard University Press, 2000

Henry James called Fanny Kemble’s autobiography “one of the most animated autobiographies in the language.” Born into the first family of the British stage, Fanny Kemble was one of the most famous woman writers of the English-speaking world, a best-selling author on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to her essays, poetry, plays, and a novel, Kemble published six works of memoir, eleven volumes in all, covering her life, which began in the first decade of the nineteenth century and ended in the last. Her autobiographical writings are compelling evidence of Kemble’s wit and talent, and they also offer a dazzling overview of her transatlantic world.

Kemble kept up a running commentary in letters and diaries on the great issues of her day. The selections here provide a narrative thread tracing her intellectual development—especially her views on women and slavery. She is famous for her identification with abolitionism, and many excerpts reveal her passionate views on the subject. The selections show a life full of personal tragedy as well as professional achievements. An elegant introduction provides a context for appreciating Kemble’s remarkable life and achievements, and the excerpts from her journals allow her, once again, to speak for herself.

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Filming Difference
Actors, Directors, Producers, and Writers on Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Film
Edited by Daniel Bernardi
University of Texas Press, 2009

Addressing representation and identity in a variety of production styles and genres, including experimental film and documentary, independent and mainstream film, and television drama, Filming Difference poses fundamental questions about the ways in which the art and craft of filmmaking force creative people to confront stereotypes and examine their own identities while representing the complexities of their subjects.

Selections range from C. A. Griffith's "Del Otro Lado: Border Crossings, Disappearing Souls, and Other Transgressions" and Celine Perreñas Shimizu's "Pain and Pleasure in the Flesh of Machiko Saito's Experimental Movies" to Christopher Bradley's "I Saw You Naked: 'Hard' Acting in 'Gay' Movies," along with Kevin Sandler's interview with Paris Barclay, Yuri Makino's interview with Chris Eyre, and many other perspectives on the implications of film production, writing, producing, and acting.

Technical aspects of the craft are considered as well, including how contributors to filmmaking plan and design films and episodic television that feature difference, and how the tools of cinema—such as cinematography and lighting—influence portrayals of gender, race, and sexuality. The struggle between economic pressures and the desire to produce thought-provoking, socially conscious stories forms another core issue raised in Filming Difference. Speaking with critical rigor and creative experience, the contributors to this collection communicate the power of their media.

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The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy
A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era
Billy J. Harbin, Kim Marra, and Robert A. Schanke, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2005

“A superb tribute to theatrical pioneers—The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy is required reading for both theatre scholars and gay/lesbian/bisexual history aficionados. A fascinating journey awaits them all in this highly recommended volume.”

Broadside: Newsletter of the Theatre Library Association

The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy collects 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. This book contributessignificantly 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 Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy 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. 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 late Billy J. Harbin was Professor of Theater, Louisiana State University. Kim Marra is Associate Professor of Theater, University of Iowa. Robert A. Schanke is Professor of Theater Emeritus, Central College, Pella, Iowa.

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Glenn Ford
A Life
Peter Ford
University of Wisconsin Press, 2011
Glenn Ford—star of such now-classic films as Gilda, Blackboard Jungle, The Big Heat, 3:10 to Yuma, and The Rounders—had rugged good looks, a long and successful career, and a glamorous Hollywood life. Yet the man who could be accessible and charming on screen retreated to a deeply private world he created behind closed doors.
    Glenn Ford: A Life chronicles the volatile life, relationships, and career of the renowned actor, beginning with his move from Canada to California and his initial discovery of theater. It follows Ford’s career in diverse media—from film to television to radio—and shows how Ford shifted effortlessly between genres, playing major roles in dramas, noir, westerns, and romances.
    This biography by Glenn Ford’s son, Peter Ford, offers an intimate view of a star’s private and public life. Included are exclusive interviews with family, friends, and professional associates, and snippets from the Ford family collection of diaries, letters, audiotapes, unpublished interviews, and rare candid photos. This biography tells a cautionary tale of Glenn Ford’s relentless infidelities and long, slow fade-out, but it also embraces his talent-driven career. The result is an authentic Hollywood story that isn’t afraid to reveal the truth.


Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians

Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
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Guillaume
A Life
Robert Guillaume & David Ritz
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Guillaume: A Life is the autobiography of esteemed Broadway, Hollywood, and television star Robert Guillaume. Ten months after suffering a stroke, Guillaume—perhaps best known as television’s Benson—began this autobiography with award-winning author and collaborator David Ritz.

The book goes beyond the recounting of a long and successful career to examine the forces that shaped the man: family, religion, race, and class. Startlingly candid and disarmingly self-aware, Guillaume seeks to know and understand himself, his treatment of the women in his life, and the choices he made along the way. He pursues the truth, however painful it may be, says Ritz, guided by two questions, “Who the hell am I?” and “What made me do what I did?”


Born in St. Louis in 1927 to a young, abused, unstable mother, and reared by a strong, hardworking grandmother, Robert Guillaume managed to move from the poverty and adversity of his youth to a rich, full career as an actor and a singer. Fierce determination and sharp focus enabled this man born to hardship and racial discrimination to study, learn, cultivate his natural talents, and succeed at the performance career he pursued with a vengeance. Guillaume first performed in the strict Catholic schools and churches to which his grandmother, who understood that education would be the key to any success he might achieve, sent him. There his love of classical music was nurtured, and he was encouraged to perform.

From a child longing for his mother’s love to a man unsure of the meaning of love for many of the women in his life, from a young performer struggling to succeed on Broadway and in Hollywood to a grief-stricken father watching his son die of AIDS, Robert Guillaume tells what it was like to realize celebrity and what he sacrificed in the process. Readers will savor the success story of this artist who achieved great recognition and fame, but who never lost sight of his beginnings. Appealing to all audiences, Guillaume is a revealing and poignant autobiography of an extraordinary and distinguished American thespian.
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Harriet Bosse
Strindberg's Muse and Interpreter
Carla Waal
Southern Illinois University Press, 1990
Harriet Bosse, a delicate beauty with rich theatrical talent, wasan inspiration for the prominent and controversial playwright August Strindberg. After their three-year marriage collapsed, she became his interpreter to the world, guardian of the Strindberg legend. This first biography of Harriet Bosse in English explores her own important career as an actress on the Swedish stage, as well as her influence on Strindberg’s work. Waal has separated Harriet Bosse from her romanticized image in the shadow of August Strindberg and has shown her as a person, fascinating and self-sufficient. Her daughter-in-law Randi Wingård said: "Harriet was a great personality, and even if she was tiny, one could nothelp noticing her in any gathering. She attracted everyone’s attention." While tracing the development of Bosse’s career, her triumphs and disappointments, Waal chronicles the beginnings of Swedish filmmaking in early silent films as well as four decades of major developments in Swedish theatre. But Bosse’s marriage to Strindberg and her relationship to his writing are an integral part of her story, and Waal also details the couple’s stormy marriage, from 1901 to 1903, the reasons for its failure, and the personal and career influences they continued to exert on each other. As Strindberg’s inspiration for many literary works, Bosse was alternately vilified and idealized. Much of what Strindberg wrote after meeting Bosse reflects his adoration of her and his despair over the problems of their relationship. She inspired two of his major works of poetry, "The Golden Eagle" and "The Dutchman," in addition to the character of the virgin princess in Swan White. On stage she played eight minor and six major Strindberg roles, including Indra’s Daughter in A Dream Play and Christina in Queen Christina.
Much information for this book is drawn from previously inaccessible sources, including unpublished materials in libraries, archives, and private collections, mostly in Scandinavia. Waal interviewed Strindberg and Bosse’s daughter Anne Marie Wyller Hagelin (to whom the book is dedicated) as well as other members of Bosse’s family and a wide range of actors, critics, directors, and scholars. Forty-one photographs are included in the text.
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Junius Brutus Booth
Theatrical Prometheus
Stephen M. Archer
Southern Illinois University Press, 1992

In this, the first thoroughly researched scholarly biography of British actor Junius Brutus Booth, Stephen M. Archer reveals Booth to have been an artist of considerable range and a man of sensitivity and intellect. Archer provides a clear account of Booth’s professional and personal life and places him in relationship to his contemporaries, particularly Edmund Kean and William Charles Macready.
 

From 1817 to 1852 Junius Brutus Booth toured throughout North America, enjoying a reputation as the most distinguished Shakespearean tragedian on the American continent. Still, he yearned for success on the British stage, a goal he never attained. His public image as a drunken, dangerous lunatic obscured a private life filled with the richness of a close and loyal family.

The worldwide fame assured for the Booth family of actors by John Wilkes Booth’s bone-shattering leap from the President’s box had eluded Junius Brutus Booth throughout his lifelong exile in America. But from that event until today, no American family of actors has stimulated such scrutiny as the Booths.

Eight years of research, pursuing Booth from Amsterdam to San Francisco, has resulted in an accurate, fascinating narrative that both records and illuminates the actor’s life.
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King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Raymond E. White
University of Wisconsin Press, 2006
    For more than sixty years, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans personified the romantic, mythic West that America cherished well into the modern age. Blazing a trail through every branch of the entertainment industry—radio, film, recordings, television, and even comic books—the couple capitalized on their attractive personas and appealed to the nation's belief in family values, an independent spirit, community.
    King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West presents these two celebrities in the most comprehensive and inclusive account to date. Part narrative, part reference, this impeccably researched, highly accessible survey spans the entire scope of Rogers's and Evans's careers, illuminating and celebrating their place in twentieth-century American popular culture. Following the pair through each stage of their professional and personal trajectories, author Raymond E. White explores the unique alchemy of the singing cowboy and his free-spirited yet feminine partner. In a dual biography, he shows how Rogers and Evans carefully husbanded their public image and—of particular note—incorporated their Christian faith into their performances. And in a series of exhaustive appendixes, he documents their contributions to each medium they worked in. Testifying to both the breadth and the longevity of their careers, the book includes radio logs, discographies, filmographies, and comicographies that will delight historians and collectors alike. With its engaging tone and meticulous research, King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West is bound to become the definitive source on the lives of these two great American icons.
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Laurence Olivier
Francis Beckett
Haus Publishing, 2006
In the 1930s he established himself as a wide-ranging Shakespearean actor. His marriage in 1940 to Vivien Leigh (his second wife) seemed to complete the image of the romantic star. From the mid-40s he excelled in directing himself in Shakespeare on film, such as his dramatically-shot Henry V (1944), with its timely excesses of patriotism. When the new wave of British drama began in the late 1950s, Olivier was immediately part of it. As an actor of such wide range, and a successful producer and director, Olivier was a natural choice to bring the National Theatre into existence in 1963. Together with his new wife Joan Plowright (they had married in 1961), he built up a brilliant company and repertoire at the Old Vic. Olivier became the first actor to be given a peerage.
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Lessons in Laughter
The Autobiography of a Deaf Actor
Bernard Bragg
Gallaudet University Press, 1989

To succeed as an actor is a rare feat. To succeed as a deaf actor is nothing short of amazing. Lessons in Laughter is the story of Bernard Bragg and his astonishing lifelong achievements in the performing arts.

Born deaf of deaf parents, Bernard Bragg has won international renown as an actor, director, playwright, and lecturer. Lessons in Laughter recounts in stories that are humorous, painful, touching, and outrageous, the growth of his dream of using the beauty of sign language to act. He starred in his own television show “The Quiet Man,” helped found The National Theatre of the Deaf, and traveled worldwide to teach his acting methods.

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Make a Wish
Judy Soloway Kay
University of Michigan Press, 2005
It was love at first sight when aspiring actors Abby Nicholson and Lucas Miller met at an audition in NewYork City. After just a few months, their romance seemed destined for marriage. But will their love survive when the demands of their careers and families get in the way?

Genre: Romance
Length: about 15,000 words
Level: 4th grade
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Migration Policymaking in Europe
The Dynamics of Actors and Contexts in Past and Present
Edited by Giovanna Zincone, Rinus Penninx, and Maren Borkert
Amsterdam University Press, 2012
The pieces in this volume offer fresh approaches to a variety of debates over migration policy. The authors of these essays explore migration policymaking in ten European countries, looking at the way social scientists and politicians form and implement these policies. Migration Policymaking in Europe contains original insights and in-depth comparative analyses drawing on a variety of empirical evidence. By placing these policies in the context of historical relationships between nations, the editors of this book have put forth a vital new portrait of the principles guiding migration in Europe.
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Noel Coward
A Biography
Philip Hoare
University of Chicago Press, 1998
To several generations, actor, playwright, songwriter, and filmmaker, Noël Coward (1899-1973) was the very personification of wit, glamour, and elegance. His biographer, Philip Hoare, given unprecedented access to the private papers and correspondence of Coward family members, compatriots, and numerous lovers, has produced the definitive biography of one of the twentieth century's most celebrated and controversial figures.

"Philip Hoare's careful research and lucid presentation in his Noël Coward: A Biography adds depth to the picture."-New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating, in-depth biography."—Library Journal

"Hoare has profiled vividly and in-depth a complex legend who had a talent for creating and recreating both himself and his works."—Publishers Weekly

"In the thicket of books about the life and work of Coward, Philip Hoare's stands out as the most well-documented and objective."—Los Angeles Times

"[Hoare's] book, like its subject, strives for effortless sophistication, and succeeds."—Newsday

"Hoare's retelling of Coward's story [is] the most vivid, insightful, and fascinating so far."—John Lahr, The New Yorker
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Objects as Actors
Props and the Poetics of Performance in Greek Tragedy
Melissa Mueller
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Objects as Actors charts a new approach to Greek tragedy based on an obvious, yet often overlooked, fact: Greek tragedy was meant to be performed. As plays, the works were incomplete without physical items—theatrical props. In this book, Melissa Mueller ingeniously demonstrates the importance of objects in the staging and reception of Athenian tragedy.

As Mueller shows, props such as weapons, textiles, and even letters were often fully integrated into a play’s action. They could provoke surprising plot turns, elicit bold viewer reactions, and provide some of tragedy’s most thrilling moments. Whether the sword of Sophocles’s Ajax, the tapestry in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon, or the tablet of Euripides’s Hippolytus, props demanded attention as a means of uniting—or disrupting—time, space, and genre.

Insightful and original, Objects as Actors offers a fresh perspective on the central tragic texts—and encourages us to rethink ancient theater as a whole.
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Performing Piety
Singers and Actors in Egypt's Islamic Revival
By Karin van Nieuwkerk
University of Texas Press, 2013

In the 1980s, Egypt witnessed a growing revival of religiosity among large sectors of the population, including artists. Many pious stars retired from art, “repented” from “sinful” activities, and dedicated themselves to worship, preaching, and charity. Their public conversions were influential in spreading piety to the Egyptian upper class during the 1990s, which in turn enabled the development of pious markets for leisure and art, thus facilitating the return of artists as veiled actresses or religiously committed performers.

Revisiting the story she began in “A Trade like Any Other”: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt, Karin van Nieuwkerk draws on extensive fieldwork among performers to offer a unique history of the religious revival in Egypt through the lens of the performing arts. She highlights the narratives of celebrities who retired in the 1980s and early 1990s, including their spiritual journeys and their influence on the “pietization” of their fans, among whom are the wealthy, relatively secular, strata of Egyptian society. Van Nieuwkerk then turns to the emergence of a polemic public sphere in which secularists and Islamists debated Islam, art, and gender in the 1990s. Finally, she analyzes the Islamist project of “art with a mission” and the development of Islamic aesthetics, questioning whether the outcome has been to Islamize popular art or rather to popularize Islam. The result is an intimate thirty-year history of two spheres that have tremendous importance for Egypt—art production and piety.

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A Player and a Gentleman
The Diary of Harry Watkins, Nineteenth-Century U.S. American Actor
Edited by Amy E. Hughes and Naomi J. Stubbs
University of Michigan Press, 2018

Hardworking actor, playwright, and stage manager Harry Watkins (1825–94) was also a prolific diarist. For fifteen years Watkins regularly recorded the plays he saw, the roles he performed, the books he read, and his impressions of current events. Performing across the U.S., Watkins collaborated with preeminent performers and producers, recording his successes and failures as well as his encounters with celebrities such as P. T. Barnum, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Forrest, Anna Cora Mowatt, and Lucy Stone. His is the only known diary of substantial length and scope written by a U.S. actor before the Civil War—making Watkins, essentially, the antebellum equivalent of Samuel Pepys. Theater historians Amy E. Hughes and Naomi J. Stubbs have selected, edited, and annotated excerpts from the diary in an edition that offers a vivid glimpse of how ordinary people like Watkins lived, loved, struggled, and triumphed during one of the most tumultuous periods in U.S. history. The selections in A Player and a Gentleman are drawn from a more expansive digital archive of the complete diary. The book, like its digital counterpart, will richly enhance our knowledge of antebellum theater culture and daily life in the U.S. during this period.

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The Second City Unscripted
Revolution and Revelation at the World-Famous Comedy Theater
Mike Thomas
Northwestern University Press, 2012

Since its modest beginning in 1959, The Second City in Chicago has become a world-renowned bastion of hilarity. A training ground for many of today’s top comedic talents—including Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, and Amy Sedaris— it was an early blueprint for improv-based sketch revues in North America and abroad. Its immeasurable influence also extends to television, film, and the Broadway stage. Mike Thomas interviewed scores of key figures who have contributed to Second City’s vast legacy —its stars as well as those who worked and continue to work behind the scenes—to create this entertaining and informative oral history. The story is equal parts legendary highlights, gossip, and insight into how the theater’s brand of comedy was and is created. Unprecedented in scope and rife with colorful tales well told, The Second City Unscripted is an essential account of this iconic show business institution.

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Shakespeare the Actor and the Purposes of Playing
Meredith Anne Skura
University of Chicago Press, 1993
For the Renaissance, all the world may have been a stage and all its people players, but Shakespeare was also an actor on the literal stage. Meredith Anne Skura asks what it meant to be an actor in Shakespeare's England and shows why a knowledge of actual theatrical practices is essential for understanding both Shakespeare's plays and the theatricality of everyday life in early modern England.

Despite the obvious differences between our theater and Shakespeare's, sixteenth-century testimony suggests that the experience of acting has not changed much over the centuries. Beginning with a psychoanalytically informed account of acting today, Skura shows how this intense and ambivalent experience appears not only in literal references to acting in Shakespearean drama but also in recurring narrative concerns, details of language, and dramatic strategies used to engage the audience. Looking at the plays in the context of both public and private worlds outside the theater, Skura rereads the canon to identify new configurations in the plays and new ways of understanding theatrical self-consciousness in Renaissance England. Rich in theatrical, psychoanalytic, biographical, and historical insight, this book will be invaluable to students of Shakespeare and instructive to all readers interested in the dynamics of performance.
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Shattered Applause
The Lives of Eva Le Gallienne
Robert A. Schanke. Foreword by May Sarton
Southern Illinois University Press, 1992

This comprehensive biography of the actress film critic Rex Reed called “a national treasure” draws on Robert A. Schanke’s interviews and correspondence not only with Eva Le Gallienne but also with more than one hundred of her colleagues and friends, including Glenda Jackson, Burgess Meredith, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Jackson, Farley Granger, Jane Alexander, Uta Hagen, and Rosemary Harris. Forty-two illustrations offer highlights of Le Gallienne’s many notable performances in such plays as Hedda Gabler, Liliom, The Cherry Orchard, Peter Pan, Camille, Mary Stuart, The Royal Family,and The Dream Watcher.

Behind her public role as a famous actress and as the founding and maintaining force of the first civic repertory theatre in the United States, Eva Le Gallienne led a private life complicated by her identity as a lesbian. Schanke considers Le Gallienne’s sexuality and how it played a role in the struggles, defeats, and triumphs that combined to inspire her greatness. Shattered Applause, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, tells a fascinating story that also serves as a barometer of the changing values, tastes, and attitudes of American society.

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A Spectacle of Suffering
Clara Morris on the American Stage
Barbara Wallace Grossman
Southern Illinois University Press, 2009

Once called "America's greatest actress," renowned for the passion and power of her performances, Clara Morris (1847-1925) has been largely forgotten. A Spectacle of Suffering: Clara Morris on the American Stage is the first full-length study of the actress's importance as a feminist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Detailing her daunting health problems and the changing tastes in entertainment that led to her retirement from the stage, Barbara Wallace Grossman explores Morris's dramatic reinvention as an author. During a second robust career, she published hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and nine books—six works of fiction and three memoirs.

Grossman draws on the fifty-four-volume diary that Morris kept from 1868 until 1924, as well as on the manuscript fragments and notes of journalist George T. MacAdam, who died in 1929 before completing the actress's biography. Grossman provides a dramatic account of Morris's life and work from her troubled early years, through an unhappy marriage, morphine addiction, and invalidism, to the challenges of touring, the decline of her artistic reputation, and the demands of the writing career she pursued so tenaciously. A Spectacle of Suffering reveals how Morris, even after experiencing blindness and the loss of her home, livelihood, and family, did not succumb to despair and found comfort in the small pleasures of her circumscribed life.

A Spectacle of Suffering recovers an important figure in American theatre and ensures that Morris will be remembered not simply as an actress but as a respected writer and beloved public figure, admired for her courage in dealing with adversity. The book, which is enhanced by twenty-four illustrations, is the only published biography of Clara Morris. It is as much a tribute to the power of the human spirit as it is an effective means of exploring American theatre and society in the Gilded Age.

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Stage, Page, Scandals, & Vandals
William E. Burton and Nineteenth-Century American Theatre
David L. Rinear
Southern Illinois University Press, 2004

In this first modern book-length biography of native Englander William E. Burton, theatre historian David L. Rinear explores Burton’s diary, letters, published reviews, and various reminiscences to reveal the tumultuous personal and professional lives of the mid-nineteenth-century actor/manager and his role in American literary history. Stage, Page, Scandals, and Vandals: William E. Burton and Nineteenth-Century American Theatre also provides insight into the cultural and artistic climate of an early period in American history when the country was still forming a national identity.

Burton fled England in 1834 and came to America in the wake of a public scandal caused by his marriage to a sixteen-year-old orphan. Burton was then already married with a ten-year-old son. Settling in Philadelphia, the thirty-two-year-old actor rapidly established himself in the city’s theatrical productions and quickly became an audience favorite.

In 1837, while continuing to act, Burton founded and edited The Gentleman’s Magazine, a monthly literary publication later called Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Burton hired struggling author Edgar Allan Poe as coeditor, and the journal achieved literary acclaim as it first published many of Poe’s short stories and poems.

Burton sold the journal in 1841 and used the money to build a new theatre, which he managed, although the depression of the early 1840s soon drove his venture out of business. After declaring bankruptcy the following year, Burton worked as a touring actor before returning to theatre management in 1845. For the next thirteen years, Burton managed a succession of theatres in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York.

Burton’s work as a producer of Shakespearean comedies and romances marks him as the first of the intellectual theatre managers to raise the theatrical experience from mere popular culture to high art. Burton made a fortune in his ventures, amassed the finest private Shakespearean library in the country, and built a grand seaside estate in Glen Cove, Long Island. Shrewd in his personal affairs and in business, Burton also had a violent temper, which led him to viciously attack his competitors. His peculiar domestic relationships marred his brilliant career as an actor, manager, and man of letters; he may have been married to three women at once and lived with two of these women simultaneously.

Fully revealing Burton’s contributions to American culture, Rinear traces Burton’s personal and professional pursuits from his emigration to his death in 1860. Bolstered by twenty-two illustrations, Stage, Page, Scandals, and Vandals sheds light on the history of American entertainment during the antebellum era, exposes the ruthless business practices required to succeed in theatre and literary magazine publishing, and reveals a sense of what constituted celebrity status in mid-nineteenth-century America.

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The Theatre Couple in Early Modern Italy
Self-Fashioning and Mutual Marketing
Serena Laiena
University of Delaware Press, 2024
Who were the first celebrity couples? How was their success forged? Which forces influenced their self-fashioning and marketing strategies?
These questions are at the core of this study, which looks at the birth of a phenomenon, that of the couple in show business, with a focus on the promotional strategies devised by two professional performers: Giovan Battista Andreini (1576–1654) and Virginia Ramponi (1583–ca.1631). This book examines their artistic path – a deliberately crafted and mutually beneficial joint career – and links it to the historical, social, and cultural context of post-Tridentine Italy. Rooted in a broad research field, encompassing theatre history, Italian studies, celebrity studies, gender studies, and performance studies, The Theatre Couple in Early Modern Italy revises the conventional view of the Italian diva, investigates the deployment of Catholic devotion as a marketing tool, and argues for the importance of the couple system in the history of Commedia dell’Arte, a system that continues to shape celebrity today.
 
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Theo
An Autobiography
Theodore Bikel
University of Wisconsin Press, 2002

An award-winning actor on screen and stage (The Defiant Ones, The African Queen, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof), an activist for civil rights and progressive causes worldwide, and a singer whose voice has won him great applause, Theodore Bikel here tells his own compelling life story. Born in Austria, raised in Palestine, educated in England, and with a stellar career in the United States and around the world, Bikel offers a personal history parallel to momentous events of the twentieth century. In an eloquent, fiercely committed voice, he writes of the Third Reich, the birth of the State of Israel, the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s, and the tumultuous 1960s in America. In a new postscript to this paperback edition, he looks at recent events in the Middle East and takes both sides to task for their excesses.

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Tragic Muse
Rachel of the Comédie-Française
Rachel M. Brownstein
Duke University Press, 1995
The great nineteenth-century tragedienne known simply as Rachel was the first dramatic actress to achieve international fame. Composing her own persona with the same brilliance and passion she demonstrated on stage, she virtually invented the role of "star." Rumors of her extravagant life offstage delighted the audiences who flocked to theaters in Boston and Paris, London and Moscow, to see her perform in the tragedies of Racine and Corneille. In Tragic Muse, Rachel M. Brownstein reveals the life of la grande Rachel and explores—at the boundary of biography, fiction, and cultural history—the connections between this self-dramatizing woman and her image.
Born to itinerant Jewish peddlers in 1821, Rachel arrived on the Paris stage at the age of fifteen. She became both a symbol of her culture’s highest art and a clue to its values and obsessions. Fascinated with all things Napoleonic, she was the mother of Napoleon’s grandson and the lover of many men connected to the emperor. Her story—the rise from humble beginnings to queen of the French state theater—echoes and parodies Napoleon’s own. She decisively controlled her career, her time, and finances despite the actions and claims of managers, suitors, and lovers. A woman of exceptional charisma, Rachel embodied contradiction and paradox. She captured the attention of her time and was memorialized in the works of Matthew Arnold, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Henry James.
Richly illustrated with portraits, photographs, and caricatures, Tragic Muse combines brilliant literary analysis and exceptional historical research. With great skill and acuity, Rachel M. Brownstein presents Rachel—her brief intense life and the image that was both self-fashioned and, outliving her, fashioned by others. First published by Knopf (1993), this book will attract a broad audience interested in matters as wide ranging as the construction of character, the cult of celebrity, women’s lives, and Jewish history. It will also be of enduring interest to readers concerned with nineteenth-century French culture, history, literature, theater, and Romanticism. Tragic Muse won the 1993 George Freedley Award presented by the Theater Library Association.
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A Triptych from the Russian Theatre
An Artistic Biography of the Komissarzhevsky Family
Victor Borovsky
University of Iowa Press, 2001
This is a collective biography of three generations of the Komissarzhevsky family whose artistic activities had an enormous impact on Russian and world theater.
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Turkey and the Kurdish Peace Process
Actors, Issues, and Context
Arin Y. Savran
University of Michigan Press, 2022

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, the Kurds in the Middle East became the largest ethnic group in the region without a state of their own. Divided between Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq, the Kurds have fought for their right to exist as a distinct national group, as well as for governing themselves. Turkey and the Kurdish Peace Process provides a historical and conceptual account of events in order to detail the key conditions, factors, and events that gave rise to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) conflict in Turkey, as well as the conditions influencing the emergence, management, and collapse of the peace talks. Drawing from conflict resolution theories, this book investigates the transformation of key conflict actors and changes, over time, in their approach to the main conflict issues.

Moreover, Arin Y. Savran expands the concept of conflict transformation to encompass the ideological transformation of a movement as a result of a rigorous and deep intellectual epiphany on the part of the political leaders—a phenomenon that is unusual and little is known about, making it all the more relevant to include in future theoretical approaches in peace process studies. Methodologically, she rethinks conflict transformation/resolution approaches to focus on shifts in beliefs and relationships that occur prior to a peace process or the start of peace negotiations, when often much focus on peace processes is on the post-agreement phase. This book is among the first comprehensive, scholarly accounts to date (in the English language) that analyzes the Kurdish peace process.

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Weavers of Dreams, Unite!
Actors' Unionism in Early Twentieth-Century America
Sean P. Holmes
University of Illinois Press, 2013
Published to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the Actors' Equity Association in 1913, Weavers of Dreams, Unite! explores the history of actors' unionism in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the onset of the Great Depression. Drawing upon hitherto untapped archival resources in New York and Los Angeles, Sean P. Holmes documents how American stage actors used trade unionism to construct for themselves an occupational identity that foregrounded both their artistry and their respectability. In the process, he paints a vivid picture of life on the theatrical shop floor in an era in which economic, cultural, and technological changes were transforming the nature of acting as work. The engaging study offers important insights into the nature of cultural production in the early twentieth century, the role of class in the construction of cultural hierarchy, and the special problems that unionization posed for workers in the commercial entertainment industry.

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When Romeo Was a Woman
Charlotte Cushman and Her Circle of Female Spectators
Lisa Merrill
University of Michigan Press, 2000
At the height of her career, actress Charlotte Cushman (1816-76) was one of the most famous women in the English-speaking world. Cushman challenged Victorian notions of gender in her stage portrayals of male characters and of strong, androgynous female characters. Offstage, she was a powerful businesswoman who supported her family, women lovers, and friends.
Lisa Merrill examines Cushman's personal correspondence to shed new light on the actress's relationships and in turn on our understandings of the nature of women's "romantic friendships." She demonstrates how Cushman's androgynous presence served as a symbol to many of her contemporaries, and revealed their multiple and often contradictory attitudes toward female performers, women, and the unspeakable possibilities of same-sex desire.
The biography draws upon unpublished archival material as well as on current critical work to view Cushman's career, relationships, and posthumous reception. When Romeo Was a Woman examines as autobiographical performance Cushman's own narratives, the stories she authorized others to write, and the letters she wrote to intimates. The book is richly illustrated with many previously unpublished portraits of Cushman in her various stage roles, including Romeo and Lady Macbeth, and other revealing photographs of her family, lovers and friends.
When Romeo Was a Woman will find an appreciative audience among general readers as well as specialists in gay/lesbian history, women's history, theater and performance, popular culture, Victorian studies, and American studies.
"A fascinating story, and a major contribution to our understanding of lesbian history. . . . The work done on archival resources is both impressive in its extent and wholly convincing in its effect." --Jacky Bratton, University of London
Lisa Merrill is Associate Professor of Communication and Performance Studies, Hofstra University. She is the coauthor of The Power to Communicate: Gender Differences as Barriers, and the author of Untying the Tongue: Power, Gender, and the Word, forthcoming.
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