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Description - New Deal Theater by Ilka Saal

New Deal Theater recovers a much ignored model of political theater for cultural criticism.While considered to be less radical in its aesthetics and politics than its celebrated Weimar and Soviet cousins, it nonetheless proved to be highly effective in asserting cultural critique. In this regard it offers a vital alternative to the dominant modernist paradigm developed in Europe. Rather than radicalizing content and form, New Deal theater insisted that the political had to be made commensurable with the language of a mass audience steeped in consumer culture.The resulting vernacular praxis emphasized empathy over alienation, verisimilitude over abstraction. By examining the cultural vectors that shaped this theater, Saal shows why it was more successful on the American stage than its European counterpart and develops a theory of vernacular political theater which can help us think of the political in art in other than modernist terms.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781403978011
ISBN-10: 1403978018
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 140mm x mm)
Pages: 232
Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher: Palgrave USA
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Ilka Saal

Ilka Saal teaches Drama & Theater and American Studies at the University of Richmond.