Twentieth Century Theater the Group Term Paper

Total Length: 1785 words ( 6 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 5

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The theater of the 1930s often saw strategies that wanted to expose the tragedy of American life at the time, but did not want to keep the audience in a state of depression, because after all, that was their everyday experience. As such, many theater productions began implementing multi-faceted strategies which included the combination of several genres in order to provide a flexibility that would both sadden and humor. Here, the research suggests that these plays prompt "us at one moment to objectivity and laughter and at the next moment to empathy and profound sad feeling; or in which the clauses are written to multiply, on top of one another and having an equal or near-equal weight, producing that suspenseful, odd, grotesque response of neither happy-nor-sad, a twist, a painful wringing" (Fearnow 52). The productions of the Mercury Theater definitely embodied that style, as Orson Welles often included in his more melodramatic productions a strange and satirical comedic sense.Overall, the Mercury Group in many ways embodies the spirit of theater in the 1930s here in the United States. Its productions represented a move into a more modern existence, while still echoing the painful experiences of the Great Depression in an artful and complex way. The group helped move theater into more mass distributed media, and paved a path to a new sense of modernity.


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Fearnow, Mark. The American Stage and the Great Depression: A Cultural History of the Grotesque. Cambridge University Press. 1997.

Odets, Clifford. Waiting for Lefty. Dramatists Play Service. 1962.

Rice, Elmer. The Adding….....

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