Rogue Performances: Staging The Underclasses In Early American Theatre Culture by P. ReedRogue Performances: Staging The Underclasses In Early American Theatre Culture by P. Reed

Rogue Performances: Staging The Underclasses In Early American Theatre Culture

byP. Reed

Paperback | July 14, 2009

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Rogue Performances recovers eighteenth and nineteenth-century American culture s fascination with outcast and rebellious characters. Highwaymen, thieves, beggars, rioting mobs, rebellious slaves, and mutineers dominated the stage in the period s most popular plays. Peter Reed also explores ways these characters helped to popularize theatrical forms such as ballad opera, patriotic spectacle, blackface minstrelsy, and melodrama. Reed shows how both on and offstage, these paradoxically powerful, persistent, and troubling figures reveal the contradictions of class and the force of the disempowered in the American theatrical imagination. Through analysis of both well known and lesser known plays and extensive archival research, this book challenges scholars to re-think their assumptions about the role of class in antebellum American drama.
PETER P. REED is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of Mississippi, USA.
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Title:Rogue Performances: Staging The Underclasses In Early American Theatre CultureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:249 pagesPublished:July 14, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1349374660

ISBN - 13:9781349374663

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Table of Contents

Theatrical Criminals and The Beggar's Opera Circum-Atlantic Blackface Piracy in Polly Pantomiming Caribbean Banditry in Three-Finger'd Jack Renegades, Algerians, and Transnational Mobs in Slaves in Algiers Yeomen, Mobs, and Patriotic Spectacle in The Glory of Columbia Urban Scenes and Street Performance in Tom and Jerry Nautical Melodrama and Mutiny in Black-Ey'd Susan Slave Revolt and Heroic Melodrama in The Gladiator

Editorial Reviews

"Well-researched and discerning...Rogue Performances represents the best of scholarship in early American theatre." - Theatre Journal"Beyond its apparent topics, Rogue Performances delivers the substrata that refigure American literature, drama, performance studies, and class dynamics. Despite official suppression, rogue acts remain widespread and lively in both the archives and popular behavior. Reed's stunning research and close analyses prove that curtains and footlights, costumes and conventions, do not separate performance from publics but knot them together. Rogue Performances shows how we act American." - W. T. Lhamon, Jr., Lecturer in American Studies, Smith College and author of Raising Cain"Combining rich archival research and imaginative analysis, Reed offers scholars alternate ways to read the role of underclass figures often marginalized in or excluded from familiar histories of American theatre. Rogue Performances explores both traditional theatrical events (such as Rowson's Slaves in Algiers, Bird's The Gladiator, or blackface minstrel shows), as well as those impromptu performances that exploded within and outside playhouse walls. In each case, Reed pays careful attention to the rogue characters who used their performances to claim a new kind of freedom. Reed situates his rogues (sailors, slaves, working class laborers) in a circum-Atlantic context that underscores the debt American underclass performance culture owed to its European and African ancestors. He also illuminates the ways in which the crucible of American society refashioned these traditional performance practices into new genres that gave agency to its most powerless members." - Heather S. Nathans, Associate Professor, University of Maryland