Vol 27 no.2

Rooting Out Historical Mythologies; William Dunlap’s A Trip to Niagara and its Sophisticated Nineteenth Century Audience.

William Dunlap’s final play, A Trip to Niagara (1828), might be the most misunderstood play in the history of the American stage. Despite being an unqualified success with its cosmopolitan New York audiences in 1828-9, it has been regularly, and almost always inaccurately, maligned by twentieth and twenty-first century historians who have described the play […]

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Capable Hands: The Myth of American Independence in D.W. Gregory’s The Good Daughter

From 1892 until 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway for immigrants seeking American citizenship. Over twelve million individuals passed through the federal immigration station, underwent rushed and haphazard examinations, and eventually entered the country. Many had their names changed and ethnicities homogenized. But many thousands more were rejected for various reasons, including the likelihood that […]

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Visibly White: Realism and Race in Appropriate and Straight White Men

Dead white males. This oft-cited phrase encapsulates the ongoing project of dismantling the privileged monopoly that white men have historically held over the formation of an artistic canon and cultural tradition. In the field of American drama, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller (despite significant differences among their work) comprise such a tradition, one […]

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The Best Actor for the Role, or the Mythos of Casting in American Popular Performance

Casting — the process whereby actors are assigned to particular roles — has largely eluded historical and theoretical inquiry. Casting’s iterative impact lends it a peculiar ephemerality. Once a role is cast, the complex array of criteria informing that decision — not only the methods and techniques of talent assessment but also the interpersonal dynamics, […]

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Introduction (JADT 27.2, 2015)

In its almost 30-year history, the American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS) has championed the study of theatre and drama in the United States, in all its wide-ranging traditions, numerous histories, and myriad forms. The organization has, along the way, sought to interrogate the constantly shifting notion of what constitutes “America,” both as a place […]

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