The National Stage: Theatre and Cultural Legitimation in England, France, and America
by Loren Kruger
University of Chicago Press, 1992
Paper: 978-0-226-45497-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-45496-2
Library of Congress Classification PN2582.N3K78 1992
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.0904

The idea of staging a nation dates from the Enlightenment, but the full force of the idea emerges only with the rise of mass politics. Comparing English, French, and American attempts to establish national theatres at moments of political crisis—from the challenge of socialism in late nineteenth-century Europe to the struggle to "salvage democracy" in Depression America—Kruger poses a fundamental question: in the formation of nationhood, is the citizen-audience spectator or participant?

The National Stage answers this question by tracing the relation between theatre institution and public sphere in the discourses of national identity in Britain, France, and the United States. Exploring the boundaries between history and theory, text and performance, this book speaks to theatre and social historians as well as those interested in the theoretical range of cultural studies.

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