Catalogue

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Stagestruck : the business of theater in eighteenth-century France and its colonies /
Lauren R. Clay.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2013.
description
xvi, 334 p.
ISBN
0801450381 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780801450389 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2013.
isbn
0801450381 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780801450389 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Investing in the arts -- Designing the civic playhouse -- The extent and limits of state intervention -- Directors and the business of performing -- The work of acting -- Consumers of culture -- The production of theater in the colonies.
catalogue key
8784995
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 321-326) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"French town dwellers were famously obsessed by theatergoing in the last decades of the ancien régime. Lauren R. Clay's Stagestruck analyzes how that obsession was made materially possible. She rejects the centralizing, Parisocentric, top-down perspective that has tended to dominate French theater history for an approach that seeks answers in archives out in the provinces and the colonies. This allows her a completely fresh overview of fundamental issues in the financing, construction, management, and labor system of the world of theater. This magnificently researched and ambitious work, which never loses sight of the human factor and the glamour of the stage, provides a compelling framework for understanding the cultural marketplace in which theater operated in late eighteenth-century France and its colonies."-Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London, author of The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon
"In 1758, Jean-Jacques Rousseau famously warned that the spread of theatrical entertainment would transform French culture's most basic values. Lauren Clay's Stagestruck takes us behind the scenes of the bustling world of theater in eighteenth-century France and shows us that Rousseau was right. Original and engagingly written, Stagestruck reveals how entrepreneurs, government officials, actors, and audiences collaborated to construct a new world of commercial entertainment in provincial and colonial cities. Clay challenges long-standing assumptions about the role of the French monarchy and the capital city of Paris in shaping Enlightenment-era culture and offers new insights into the growth of the market-oriented society whose members were rehearsing the roles they would later play in the great drama of the French Revolution."-Jeremy D. Popkin, University of Kentucky, author of You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery
"Lauren R. Clay's work on theater in the French provinces and Caribbean colonies in the eighteenth century is original and important. By reorienting our focus from Paris to the provinces and beyond, and from crown sponsorship to commercial enterprises, Clay suddenly and dramatically expands the way we use theater to understand the evolving political culture and political economy of pre-Revolutionary France. Stagestruck will be a revelation for scholars in many fields."-Jeffrey S. Ravel, MIT, author of The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 1680-1791
"Lauren R. Clay's work on theater in the French provinces and Caribbean colonies in the eighteenth century is original and important. By reorienting our focus from Paris to the provinces and beyond, and from crown sponsorship to commercial enterprises, Clay suddenly and dramatically expands the way we use theater to understand the evolving political culture and political economy of pre-Revolutionary France. Stagestruck will be a revelation for scholars in many fields."-Jeffrey S. Ravel, MIT, author of The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 16801791
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This volume traces the making of a vibrant French theatre industry between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution. During this era more than 80 provincial and colonial cities celebrated the inauguration of their first public playhouses. These theatres emerged as the most prominent urban cultural institutions in prerevolutionary France, becoming key sites for the articulation nad contestation of social, political, and racial relationships.
Main Description
Stagestruck traces the making of a vibrant French theater industry between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution. During this era more than eighty provincial and colonial cities celebrated the inauguration of their first public playhouses. These theaters emerged as the most prominent urban cultural institutions in prerevolutionary France, becoming key sites for the articulation and contestation of social, political, and racial relationships. Combining rich description with nuanced analysis based on extensive archival evidence, Lauren R. Clay illuminates the wide-ranging consequences of theaters spectacular growth for performers, spectators, and authorities in cities throughout France as well as in the empires most important Atlantic colony, Saint-Domingue.Clay argues that outside Paris the expansion of theater came about through local initiative, civic engagement, and entrepreneurial investment, rather than through actions or policies undertaken by the royal government and its agents. Reconstructing the business of theatrical production, she brings to light the efforts of a wide array of investors, entrepreneurs, directors, and actors including women and people of color who seized the opportunities offered by commercial theater to become important agents of cultural change.Portraying a vital and increasingly consumer-oriented public sphere beyond the capital, Stagestruck overturns the long-held notion that cultural change flowed from Paris and the royal court to the provinces and colonies. This deeply researched book will appeal to historians of Europe and the Atlantic world, particularly those interested in the social and political impact of the consumer revolution and the forging of national and imperial cultural networks. In addition to theater and literary scholars, it will attract the attention of historians and sociologists who study business, labor history, and the emergence of the modern French state.
Main Description
Stagestruck traces the making of a vibrant French theater industry between the reign of Louis XIV and the French Revolution. During this era more than eighty provincial and colonial cities celebrated the inauguration of their first public playhouses. These theaters emerged as the most prominent urban cultural institutions in prerevolutionary France, becoming key sites for the articulation and contestation of social, political, and racial relationships. Combining rich description with nuanced analysis based on extensive archival evidence, Lauren R. Clay illuminates the wide-ranging consequences of theater's spectacular growth for performers, spectators, and authorities in cities throughout France as well as in the empire's most important Atlantic colony, Saint-Domingue. Clay argues that outside Paris the expansion of theater came about through local initiative, civic engagement, and entrepreneurial investment, rather than through actions or policies undertaken by the royal government and its agents. Reconstructing the business of theatrical production, she brings to light the efforts of a wide array of investors, entrepreneurs, directors, and actors-including women and people of color-who seized the opportunities offered by commercial theater to become important agents of cultural change. Portraying a vital and increasingly consumer-oriented public sphere beyond the capital, Stagestruck overturns the long-held notion that cultural change flowed from Paris and the royal court to the provinces and colonies. This deeply researched book will appeal to historians of Europe and the Atlantic world, particularly those interested in the social and political impact of the consumer revolution and the forging of national and imperial cultural networks. In addition to theater and literary scholars, it will attract the attention of historians and sociologists who study business, labor history, and the emergence of the modern French state.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction: The Making of a French Theater Industryp. 1
Investing in the Artsp. 14
Designing the Civic Playhousep. 40
The Extent and Limits of State Interventionp. 68
Directors and the Business of Performingp. 97
The Work of Actingp. 132
Consumers of Culturep. 163
The Production of Theater in the Coloniesp. 195
Epilogue: Culture, Commerce, and the Statep. 225
Appendix: Timeline of Inaugurations and Significant Renovations of Dedicated Public Theaters in France and the French Colonies, 1671-1789p. 235
Notesp. 241
Bibliography of Primary Sourcesp. 321
Indexp. 327
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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