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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist MagazinesVolume II: North America 1894-1960$
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Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199545810.001.0001

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A New Theatre

A New Theatre

Theatre Arts (1916–64) and Drama (1911–31)

(p.377) 15 A New Theatre
The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines

Dorothy Chansky

Terry Brino-Dean

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the histories of two magazines — Theatre Arts and Drama — which facilitated the American Little Theatre Movement (1912–25). The movement eschewed theatrical commercialism in the name of something more socially significant and aesthetically refined. It wrought a sea change in how audiences, practitioners, academics, and the general public thought about theatre. The histories of both publications reveal an ongoing attempt to reach wider readerships while also maintaining what each saw as its own identity and integrity. The two often used the same writers, and both touted the importance of amateur theatre and challenging drama. But Drama offers a case study in how management and target audience can sink an otherwise well-designed boat, while the history of Theatre Arts is a lesson in how taking the high road works best with a steadfast, solvent, single-minded visionary at the helm.

Keywords:   American magazine, periodical, American Little Theatre Movement, modernism, American theatre

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