Download Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency by B. Altschuler PDF

By B. Altschuler

This publication seeks to fill an immense hole within the literature approximately fictional representations of presidents by means of learning greater than forty performs, written for the reason that 1900, that have had well-liked productions on or off-Broadway or in one other significant city.

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Additional info for Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency

Sample text

It is easier for most people to identify with this Lincoln than with the heroic president. Ann is a far more sympathetic character than the aristocratic and difficult Mary Todd. Finally, the fact that so little is known about the actual relationship between the two gives considerable license to an author’s imagination. In Conkle’s view, it is Ann who is responsible for starting Lincoln’s political career. It is only at her urging that he runs for the state legislature, almost in spite of himself.

1 In this chapter, we will examine presidents portrayed on stage as praiseworthy. Although or perhaps because judging the quality of presidents is not something that can be done objectively, Americans have long debated which presidents to rank highly. More formal surveys of historians began with one conducted for Life magazine by Arthur Schlesinger Sr. in 1948. Despite some reputational changes, subsequent versions have shown considerable consistency in the overall rankings. Polls of the general public have varied more over time, revealing a bias in favor of recent officeholders.

119 After premiering in San Francisco in 2008, Abe Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party, a satire depicting a fictional trial of a teacher charged with discussing in class the possibility that Lincoln was gay, ran in the New York International Fringe Festival during the summer of 2009. Despite a six week off-Broadway run for Abe Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party in 2010, the prospects for theatrical rejuvenation are uncertain at best. Will we finally see a more complex Lincoln in the future? What about other presidents?

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