By B. Altschuler
This booklet seeks to fill an incredible hole within the literature approximately fictional representations of presidents by means of learning greater than forty performs, written when you consider that 1900, that have had sought after productions on or off-Broadway or in one other significant city.
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Extra info for Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency
82 The illness of Seth Gale’s son can be seen as a metaphor for the dilemma facing the country at the time Sherwood wrote the play. By agreeing, after some initial reluctance, to say a prayer for the boy and then searching for a doctor, Abe accepts the responsibility of saving a sick nation. In its depiction of Lincoln as a complex character with flaws to overcome, the play is a considerable advance over its predecessors, yet is able to retain the heroic president by ending just as he assumes office.
Lincoln in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century No new play about Lincoln followed Abe Lincoln in Illinois to Broadway until Norman Corwin’s The Rivalry in 1959. About six Plays about Abraham Lincoln 25 years earlier, Corwin had conceived the idea of adapting the Lincoln— Douglas debates for the theater. ”89 At first titled Tonight! Lincoln vs. Douglas, it began with readings in homes, then opened in Hollywood in 1955. A tour of 72 cities began two years later with Raymond Massey and Martin Gabel playing Lincoln and Douglas.
Books on Lincoln continue to be published in large numbers, and, as Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals proved, can even rise to the top of the best-seller list. Barry Schwartz believes that the public today has a “post—heroic mentality,” citing surveys showing significant declines in the popularity of all presidents. In the early twentieth century, Americans worshipped Lincoln excessively; today’s public has become disenchanted and cynical as debunking by the media blurs the line between the great and the ordinary.
Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency by B. Altschuler