Potsdam University

Project Description

Professional Theatre in the Midwest

Project Abstract

Thesis: Regardless the fact that the Midwest is widely considered as backward and bleak, the region has indeed created a widespread mixture of highly sophisticated professional theatres.

We will start our thesis with our definition of the Midwest. Though definitions vary, any definition of the Midwest would include the Northwest Ordinance "Old Northwest" states and often includes many states that were part of the Louisiana Purchase. The states of the Old Northwest are also known as "Great Lakes states". Many of the Louisiana Purchase states are also known as Great Plains states. By the U.S. Census Bureau, the Midwest is defined as the 12 states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
We will continue to give basic facts about history and culture, including immigration and settlement history and demographics as well as a more popular view on Midwest people.
The next step will be to explain what we include in the term theatre. Until the beginning of the century, theatre used to be considered as only drama. This changed with the beginning of the 20th century, but especially in the 1920�s and 1960�s. From now on, the term theatre was also used for musical, dance, performance art, Rituals, musicals, concerts etc. Nevertheless, there are still a number of people in the United States connecting theatre solely to drama. We will continue to write about the history and development of American theatre. This includes information on all the different kinds of theatre one can find in the US, e.g. professional vs. non-professional (meaning Equity vs. non-Equity, LORT), regional vs. national, community, educational (college, high school, theatre schools), children and summer stock theatre. It will be also necessary to deal with the topic of American Realism at some point in the thesis.

Surveys released for this project:
Theatre Survey East Coast 25
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