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Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modernist Theatre

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About the Book

In a rapidly changing world, the ways in which economic forces affect both personal and global change can be difficult to track, particularly in the arts. This collection of twenty new essays explores both obscure and famous plays dealing with economic issues.
Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, the text moves from Marx’s theories to Wall Street speculation, nineteenth century immigration issues, the excesses of the Gilded Age and the 1920s, the Great Depression, World War II and millennial economic challenges.

About the Author(s)

James Fisher is professor of theatre and head of the theatre department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the author of several books on theatre.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by James Fisher
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 314
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4717-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8683-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction

JAMES FISHER      1

Friedrich Engels, Lewis Henry Morgan, Capitalism, and Theatre-Making in Nineteenth-Century America

ROSEMARIE K. BANK      9

“Money Is Our God Here”: The Comedy of Capital in Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Money and Philip Barry’s Holiday

JAMES FISHER      22

Amateur Economies: Widowhood and Marriage for Amateur Performers

EILEEN CURLEY      41

Gold Rush: McTeague, Frank Norris, and Neal Bell

ROBERT F. GROSS      57

Money in Chekhov’s Plays

LAURENCE SENELICK      75

Jacob Gordin and Jewish Socialism in America

VALLERI J. HOHMAN      86

The Music Master and the Money Makers

FELICIA HARDISON LONDRÉ      96

Performing “Amerikee”: Rural Caricature and the George Washingtons of Percy MacKaye and Jacques Copeau

MARK EVANS BRYAN      109

I Am Your Worker/I Am Your Slave: Dehumanization, Capitalist Fantasy, and Communist Anxiety in Karel Tapek’s R.U.R.

PAUL MENARD      121

Home Away from Home: Greed in Marco Millions

THIERRY DUBOST      131

Babbitting Broadway: Satire, the Gospel of Success, and Americanization of Expressionism

JAMES M. CHERRY      143

A New Approach to Revolution: Artef and Hirsch Leckert in the Third Period

JOSHUA POLSTER      157

“Television’s Comin’ In, Sure as Death”: The Strange Consumer Paradise of Clifford Odets’ Paradise Lost

CHRISTOPHER J. HERR      171

Back-Alleys to Basements: Narratives of Class and (Il)legal Abortion on the American Stage

CHRISTINE WOODWORTH      184

Peter Weiss’s The Investigation: The Marxist View of the Holocaust

GENE A. PLUNKA      195

Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls: Postmodern Complicity and the Economics of Thatcherism

DANIEL KEITH JERNIGAN      210

Excessive Greed, Excessive Visions: Brenton and Hare’s Brassneck and Pravda

JOHN E. O’CONNOR      225

The Absence of Wealth in Recent British Plays about Business

AMELIA HOWE KRITZER      244

Between Want and Wealth: The Failure of Upward Mobility in José Rivera’s Early Plays

J. CHRIS WESTGATE      257

Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and Under America: How Mainstream Reviews Represent the Guilty and Obscure the Economics of the U.S. Prison Industry

JACOB JUNTUNEN      279

About the Contributors      295

Index      299