By Bruce A. Mcconachie
On hand December 2003 during this groundbreaking learn, Bruce McConachie makes use of the first metaphor of containment—what occurs after we categorize a play, a tv express, or something we view as having an within, an outdoor, and a boundary among the two—as the dominant metaphor of chilly struggle theatergoing. Drawing at the cognitive psychology and linguistics of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, he offers strange entry to the ways that spectators within the chilly battle years projected themselves into level figures that gave them excitement. McConachie reconstructs those cognitive procedures by way of counting on scripts, set designs, experiences, memoirs, and different proof. After setting up his theoretical framework, he makes a speciality of 3 archtypal figures of containment major in chilly struggle tradition, Empty Boys, relatives Circles, and Fragmented Heroes. McConachie makes use of quite a number performs, musicals, and smooth dances from the dominant tradition of the chilly warfare to debate those figures, together with The Seven yr Itch, Cat on a sizzling Tin Roof; The King and I,A Raisin within the solar, evening trip, and The Crucible. In an epilogue, he discusses the legacy of chilly battle theater from 1962 to 1992. unique and provocative, American Theater within the tradition of the chilly battle illuminates the brain of the spectator within the context of chilly struggle tradition; it makes use of cognitive stories and media concept to maneuver clear of semiotics and psychoanalysis, forging a brand new approach of analyzing theater historical past.
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Additional info for American Theater in the Culture of the Cold War: Producing and Contesting Containment, 1947-1962 (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)
Similarly, radio heightened the fear of un-American simulators and the need to identify a Platonically essential America in the late 1940s. On the radio, the whining baritone of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy sounded authoritative and ominous. Reunited with his bloated body and smarmy smile on television by Murrow, McCarthy shrunk into pathos and petulance. Because radio hides bodies, it creates the desire for full presence, for a stable identity, both national and personal. Radio raised questions about the collective nature of the American polity that earlier media did not induce.
An observation by critic-director Harold Clurman provides an initial approach to this problem. Writing in 1967, Clurman lamented the general change from the realist dramas of the 1930s to the “poetic or ‘stylized’” plays of the postwar era. The former leader of the Group Theatre believed that the pressing problems of the real world — the need “to remedy unemployment, feed the hungry, alter the economy, combat Fascism”— had led to realist treatments of characters and situations in social dramas and even many comedies before the war.
44 Nellhaus notes that this ongoing tension creates particular difﬁculties for the “agents” of performance, by which he means playwrights who craft scripts for the theater and actor-characters, the dramatic agents in the ﬁctional world on stage. Aware that older conventions of representation no longer carry full legitimacy, playwrights add narrative frames to foreground their agency as storytellers while their characters, Hamlet-like, worry about their own possibilities for action within the world of the play.
American Theater in the Culture of the Cold War: Producing and Contesting Containment, 1947-1962 (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture) by Bruce A. Mcconachie