Shifting Fortunes in the Performing Arts Business
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Chapter 6 documents the well-traveled paths that linked theatre and film in the 1930s and 1940s. It shows that summer and stock theatres, amateur and professional resident theatres, national touring companies, and Broadway productions became training grounds and audition sites for actors, who found secure employment and sometimes stardom in Hollywood films. It examines the history of the Group Theatre to illustrate pertinent economic factors, differing views about the role of directors, and the ideas that came to distinguish Modern and Method acting. The chapter’s material historiography reveals that economic and industrial factors of the era led to a mass migration of acting talent from stage to screen, and transformed Broadway and Hollywood into two branches of an increasingly centralized and technologically based performing arts business.