B. Altschuler's Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency PDF

By B. Altschuler

This booklet seeks to fill a massive hole within the literature approximately fictional representations of presidents by means of learning greater than forty performs, written considering the fact that 1900, that have had in demand productions on or off-Broadway or in one other significant city.

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Extra info for Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency

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Although Prologue to Glory is largely forgotten today, it had a significant afterlife with numerous community theater productions, several radio versions and at least four television adaptations, most notably one on General Electric Theater in 1956. Plays about Abraham Lincoln 19 Of all the Lincoln plays, the most durable has been Robert Sherwood’s Abe Lincoln in Illinois, which covers the 30 years before Lincoln left Springfield to assume the presidency. This length of time allows as much as 20 years to pass between scenes.

Lincoln closed. Perhaps not coincidentally, there has also not been a major theatrical film on the subject since the movie version of Abe Lincoln in Illinois in 1940. This does not seem due to a decline in Lincoln’s presidential reputation among experts. 117 President Barack Obama has regularly demonstrated his reverence for Lincoln, from the declaration of his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, to his use of Lincoln’s Bible to be sworn into office. Books on Lincoln continue to be published in large numbers, and, as Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals proved, can even rise to the top of the best-seller list.

Despite a successful run in Detroit, the play lasted on Broadway for only 16 performances. Critics believed that the young authors had tried to include too much material. ” Benét himself came to believe that this play taught him to include less local color and confusing historical detail in his later work. 21 Despite Benét’s later literary fame, the play has remained no more than a footnote in his career. Like The First Lady of the Land, Benét and Farrar’s work depicts the conflict between the privileged establishment and those with more egalitarian views, although this time both groups are predominantly 40 Acting Presidents American.

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