Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

Ten years have passed since I presented at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education the first paper from what would turn out to be the research for this book. During that time, I have been the recipient of the generosity of many people and institutions, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge their largess. ...

Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xvi

read more

Introduction: Remembering the Platform

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-32

Marian Castle, reflecting back on her experiences as a booking agent and superintendent for Circuit Chautauqua during the 1920s, predicted in 1932: “But who can say that some future historian may not write: ‘The circuit Chautauquas, which flourished from 1904 to 1930, should be ranked as one of the most significant indications of an awakening American culture?’”1 ...

read more

1. America on the Platform

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 33-70

Those attending the 1917 Lincoln Chautauqua in Mooresville, Indiana, for six days in late July must have had the European war very much on their minds. Mooresville is only about ten miles southwest of Indianapolis and at that point had a population of just over 2,000.1 While the war had been raging in Europe for almost three years, the United States had been involved for just over three months, ...

read more

2. Community on the Platform

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-110

When Ben R. Vardaman, an Iowa businessman and editor of Merchants Trade Journal, stepped off the train platform in Valley City, North Dakota, “one July, eleven bands met [him].”1 The small town rang with the glorious sounds of music, cheers, and anticipation. Crowds gathered at the station eagerly awaiting the guest of honor. Vardaman had pioneered the idea of a special ...

read more

3. The Platform in the Tent

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 111-154

Chautauqua’s visit was heralded with the transformation of the town by pennants, window displays, and placards. Large signs hung across streets exclaiming that “Chautauqua is coming!” The breeze would set these notices fluttering, and the whole town quivered with the excitement of it all. ...

read more

4. Performance on the Platform: Oratory

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 155-186

No single figure is more identified with Circuit Chautauqua than William Jennings Bryan. His politics, character, moral values, oratory, and even blind spots and failures found their truest expression and most sympathetic reception on the Circuits. The political battles he waged were on behalf of the citizens who comprised Chautauqua audiences, ...

read more

5. Performance on the Platform: Theater

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 187-216

In 1913 the Redpath Bureau sent the Ben Greet Players out on Circuit Chautauqua. They opened the week of May 18 near Albany, Georgia, and toured for almost fifteen weeks, closing near Pittsburgh.1 They had two plays in their repertoire—Comedy of Errors, “with every tart Elizabethan phrase that might wound soft sensibilities” excised, and a similarly bowdlerized She Stoops to Conquer.2 ...

read more

Conclusion: The Palimpsestic Platform

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 217-232

As the black-and-white movie begins, a huge crowd waits at the train station. Men have their jackets slung over their shoulders, children run excitedly, and all those gathered fan themselves in the noonday heat. A train whistle is heard in the distance, and immediately the band begins to play, while the crowd’s enthusiastic exclamations can be heard over the music. ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-260

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 261-268