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Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic
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  • Page extent: 406 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.77 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: n/a
  • Dewey version: n/a
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Theater and society--United States
    • National characteristics, American

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521847469 | ISBN-10: 052184746X)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$154.00 (C)
Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic

Cambridge University Press
052184746X - Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic - by Jeffrey H. Richards

Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic

Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic investigates the way in which theatre both reflects and shapes the question of identity in post-Revolutionary American culture. Richards examines a variety of phenomena connected to the stage, including closet Revolutionary political plays, British drama on American boards, American-authored stage plays, and poetry and fiction by early republican writers. American theatre is viewed by Richards as a transatlantic hybrid in which British theatrical traditions in writing and acting provide material and templates by which Americans see and express themselves and their relationship to others. Through intensive analyses of plays both inside and outside of the early American “canon,” this book confronts matters of political, ethnic, and cultural identity by moving from play text to theatrical context and from historical event to audience demographic.

JEFFREY H. RICHARDS is the author of Theater Enough: American Culture and the Metaphor of the World Stage, 1607–1789 (1991), and Mercy Otis Warren (1995), and has edited three other books. He has published articles in Early American Literature, William and Mary Quarterly, and other journals and collections. He has taught at the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and is currently Professor of English at Old Dominion University.


General editor

Don B. Wilmeth, Brown University

Advisory board

C. W. E. Bigsby, University of East Anglia
C. Lee Jenner, Independent critic and dramaturge
Bruce A. McConachie, University of Pittsburgh
Brenda Murphy, University of Connecticut
Laurence Senelick, Tufts University

The American theatre and its literature are attracting, after long neglect, the crucial attention of historians, theoreticians, and critics of the arts. Long a field for isolated research yet too frequently marginalized in the academy, the American theatre has always been a sensitive gauge of social pressures and public issues. Investigations into its myriad of shapes and manifestations are relevant to students of drama, theatre, literature, cultural experience, and political development.

The primary intent of this series is to set up a forum of important and original scholarship in and criticism of American theatre and drama in a cultural and social context. Inclusive by design, the series accommodates leading work in areas ranging from the study of drama as literature to theatre histories, theoretical explorations, production histories, and readings of more popular or para-theatrical forms. While maintaining a specific emphasis on theatre in the United States, the series welcomes work grounded broadly in cultural studies and narratives with interdisciplinary reach. Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama thus provides a crossroads where historical, theoretical, literary, and biographical approaches meet and combine, promoting imaginative research in theatre and drama from a variety of new perspectives.


  1. Samuel Hay, African American Theatre
  2. Marc Robinson, The Other American Drama
  3. Amy Green, The Revisionist Stage: American Directors Re-Invent the Classics
  4. Jared Brown, The Theatre in America during the Revolution
  5. Susan Harris Smith, American Drama: The Bastard Art
  6. Mark Fearnow, The American Stage and the Great Depression
  7. Rosemarie K. Bank, Theatre Culture in America, 1825–1860
  8. Dale Cockrell, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World
  9. Stephen J. Bottoms, The Theatre of Sam Shepard
  10. Michael A. Morrison, John Barrymore: Shakespearean Actor
  11. Brenda Murphy, Congressional Theatre: Dramatizing McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and Television
  12. Jorge Huerta, Chicano Drama: Performance, Society and Myth
  13. Roger A. Hall, Performing the American Frontier, 1870–1906
  14. Brooks McNamara, The New York Concert Saloon: The Devil’s Own Nights
  15. S. E. Wilmer, Theatre, Society and the Nation: Staging American Identities
  16. John H. Houchin, Censorship of the American Theatre in the Twentieth Century
  17. John W. Frick, Theatre, Culture and Temperance Reform in Nineteenth-Century America
  18. Errol G. Hill, James V. Hatch, A History of African American Theatre
  19. Heather S. Nathans, Early American Theatre from the Revolution to Thomas Jefferson
  20. Barry B. Witham, The Federal Theatre Project
  21. Julia A. Walker, Expressionism and Modernism in the American Theatre: Bodies, Voices, Words
  22. Jeffrey H. Richards, Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic

Drama, Theatre, and Identity in
the American New Republic


Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge, CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Jeffrey H. Richards 2005

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2005

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN-13 978-0-521-84746-9 hardback

ISBN-10 0-521-84746-x hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party internet websites referred to in this book,
and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

For Elizabeth Quantz Richards,
who endured


1American identities and the transatlantic stage17
PARTIStaging revolution at the margins of celebration35
2Revolution and unnatural identity in Crèvecoeur’s “Landscapes”37
3British author, American text: The Poor Soldier in the new republic60
4American author, British source: writing revolution in Murray’s Traveller Returned85
5Patriotic interrogations: committees of safety in early American drama105
6Dunlap’s queer André: versions of revolution and manhood124
PARTIIColoring identities: race, religion, and the exotic141
7Susanna Rowson and the dramatized Muslim143
8James Nelson Barker and the stage American Native166
9American stage Irish in the early republic188
10Black theatre, white theatre, and the stage African211
PARTIIITheatre, culture, and reflected identity239
11Tales of the Philadelphia Theatre: Ormond, national performance, and supranational identity241
12A British or an American tar? Play, player, and spectator in Norfolk, 1797–1800259
13After The Contrast: Tyler, civic virtue, and the Boston stage296

© Cambridge University Press

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