Censorship of the American Theatre in the Twentieth Century - download pdf or read online

By John H. Houchin

Arguing that theatrical censorship coincides with major demanding situations to spiritual, political and cultural traditions, John Houchin explores its influence on twentieth-century American theatre. in addition to the well known instance of the home Un-American actions Committee within the Fifties, different virtually both influential occasions affected the process the yankee degree through the century. After a precis of censorship in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century the US, Houchin analyzes key political and theatrical occasions among 1900 and 2000.

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45 The concept of “republican virtue” also incorporated significant concern for security. The colonial middle class, a sizable population, which included prosperous small merchants, tradesmen, and craftsmen, routinely voiced these concerns. For this group, any decline of “republican virtue” signified fiscal as well as political and religious degeneration. Wastefulness and frivolity, once only personal flaws, were now regarded as palpable threats to the community. ”46 “A Friend to All Mankind” condemned the wealthy because they “leave the poor and distressed without alms, and turn a deaf ear to their affecting supplication.

109 The “admiration” of which Logan spoke was clearly not honorific. Burlesque performers compounded the damage caused by their immodesty by colluding in their own objectification. Not only did they titillate audiences with their appearance and demeanor, they were brazenly themselves. They even established eye and verbal contact with spectators to enhance their appeal. These performers, at least as Logan read them, merely stimulated audiences by calling attention to their exposed bodies. Logan, like many other nineteenth-century American feminists, were of the opinion that male sexual passion was irrational and dangerous.

115 Comstock and his supporters reacted to this rapid onset of modernity by seeking to resuscitate the moral certitude that dominated much nineteenth-century thought and behavior. By returning to the moral strictures of the past, he hoped to dictate the direction that future generations would follow. While Comstock occasionally railed against gambling and intemperance, he, like his Edwardian generation, defined immorality in purely sexual terms and exerted tremendous effort in an attempt to prescribe the depiction of the female body.

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