THE-2000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Cervix, Upper Class, Karen Finley

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17 Sep 2018

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American Theatre
Ford’s Theatre April 14, 1865 Lincolns Assassination
John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) famous and successful actor
Our American Cousin performing
Booth Family
o Junius Brutus Booth, Sr.- Father, English actor, great acclaim
o Edwin Booth- one of the greatest American actors of 19th century, best American
Hamlet of all time
Theatre is a “powerful instrument of social change
Pre-American Revolution
National identity crisis people going to America to leave something behind
Post-Revolutionary War helps define patriotism and nationalism, what being American is
Royall Tyler (1757-1826)
o The Contrast (1787) first play by AM playwright produced in America, creates many
archetypes, British foppery, American Macho
o “Stage Yankee” good, loyal, hardworking, protects the weak, not that bright
Wood Harrelson, Joey in FRIENDS, Forrest Gump
What it is to be an American, how to act
The Astor Place riot (May 10, 1849) embodiment of class division
Both actors below played Macbeth on the same night, actually friends, problem was they were
national symbols
First time American militia fires on citizens when not a war
Shows clear class divisions in theatre
Edwin Forrest (1806-1872)
o Most popular American Actor of 19th cent, manly, strong, very physical
o Bowery Boys gang, supported Forrest
o Working class rep
William Charles Macready (1793- 1873)
o English Actor
o Much more emotional and intellectual actor
o Excellent Hamlet
o Upper class
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