The Theater Is in The Street
Politics and Public Performance in 1960s America
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
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Introduction - The Convergence of Art, Politics, And Everyday Life
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During the 1960s, artists and activists transformed notions of how public spaces might be used, expanding the range of cultural and political expressions beyond the substantial restrictions they had faced in the early postwar era. Echoing a widespread sentiment among 1960s artists, the sculptor Claes Oldenburg asserted that for art to be vital it must do...
Chapter One - Freedom Singers of the Civil Rights Movement: Delivering a Message on the Front Lines
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The civil rights movement achieved its greatest triumphs by bringing to the fore issues of human and constitutional rights, morality, power relations, race, and culture, and giving these abstract concepts concrete shape in the hearts and minds of the American public. Movement activists accomplished this through a series of direct action nonviolent protests designed to call...
Chapter Two - The Living Theatre: Paradise and Politics in the Streets
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âThe theatre is in the street. The street belongs to the people. Free the theatre. Free the street. Begin.â1 These final words of the Living Theatreâs landmark theatrical production Paradise Now, which the company performed from 1968 to 1970, encouraged audiences to begin a nonviolent revolution by moving from the theater into the street; they also encapsulated most of the salient themes of the groupâs career. ...
Chapter Three - The Diggers: Politicizing the Counterculture
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Unlike the Living Theatre, which evolved into a community-oriented street theater group only after twenty years of experiments that mixed creative and political impulses, the Diggers articulated their countercultural ideas through public performance from their inception in the mid sixties. ...
Chapter Four - The Art Workers Coalition and the Guerrilla Art Action Group: Politicizing the Art World
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Arts and cultural groups of the sixties used performance in public spaces to dramatize a vision of social transformation. Public performances such as the freedom singersâ accompaniment of civil rights demonstrations, the Living Theatreâs procession to the streets at the end of Paradise Now, and the Diggersâ âDeath of Moneyâ and âDeath of Hippieâ street parades, emerged as the groupsâ political and creative sensibilities converged. ...
Epilogue - The Continuing Value of Public Performance
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The careers of the SNCC Freedom Singers, the Living Theatre, the Diggers, the Art Workers Coalition, and the Guerrilla Art Action Group document the emergence of public, politically oriented performance as an important and influential cultural force during the sixties. During the civil rights era, freedom singing figured prominently in a constellation of social, cultural, and political...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2004