Kenneth Haigh and Mary Ure in the final scene of 'Look Back in Anger' at the Royal Court Theatre, London.

The Reality Behind Kitchen Sink Realism

The gritty dramas of the 1950s and 1960s revealed the bitterness and disillusionment of Britain's working class youth.
From One-Third of a Nation

The Living Newspaper Speaks

Scripted from front-page news, the Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspaper plays were part entertainment, part protest, and entirely educational.
The cover of a music book for the musical "He's Up Against The Real Thing Now," starring Bert Williams and George Walker, 1898

When Black Celebrities Wore Blackface

A Black Bohemia flourished in New York before the Harlem Renaissance and with it a new type of self-determined, contradictory Black celebrity.
Playwright Terrence McNally in 2010

How Terrence McNally Reimagined the Danse Macabre

The centerpiece of the prize-winning Love! Valor! Compassion! is a rehearsal for an affirming staging of Swan Lake—in drag.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Why Were There Still Stories of Blackface in 2019?

One of the minor themes of 2019 was the revelation that various prominent white politicians had once worn blackface. The question is: why?
A paper theater

Paper Theaters: The Home Entertainment of Yesteryear

In the nineteenth century, enterprising toymakers developed a novel way to bring theater into the home.
Gypsy Rose Lee seated at a typewriter

Who Really Wrote The G-String Murders?

Gypsy Rose Lee, the most famous burlesque star of the 1940s, wrote a series of letters published by Simon & Schuster that may prove her authorship.
The Cast of Dave Malloy’s Octet. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Art of Digital Addiction

Digital addiction is inspiring plays, books, films, and art -- just as other forms of addiction have in the past.
Scottish quack doctor James Graham

The Prince of Quacks (and How He Captivated London)

James Graham, founder of the Temple of Health, benefitted from his undeniable flair for showmanship and his talent for leaping on trends.