By B. Altschuler

 Although movies in regards to the presidency were a favored topic for research, there isn't any similar literature approximately performs that painting leader executives. This booklet fills that hole through analyzing intimately approximately 50 performs depicting old, fictional or even musical presidents. It explains how, because the public's belief in govt has declined, the heroic presidents of the 1st 1/2 the 20 th century were changed on degree via such antiheroes as Nixon and Harding.

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Additional info for Acting Presidents: 100 Years of Plays about the Presidency (Evolving American Presidency)

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108 In 1972, V. J. Longhi’s The Lincoln Mask had a run of nineteen previews followed by eight performances on Broadway. It begins with Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre the night of his assassination, even including excerpts from Our American Cousin, then flashes back to tell the story of Abe and Mary Lincoln. ”109 Reviews, however, were brutal, finding the play overly preachy, historically inaccurate, and so poorly written that the dialogue was unintentionally funny. ”110 The play, which was never published, seems to have been entirely forgotten.

113 In the play, he walks around, uses props, and engages in conversation with unseen others. The audience first sees Lincoln’s life flashing before him just as he is about to be shot. This beginning was particularly dramatic at Ford’s Theatre, where the play had its American premiere after first opening in Canada, and where a version for television would be taped. The remainder of the first act depicts Lincoln’s pre-presidential life in Illinois. Reminiscing about his early adulthood with folksy anecdotes, Lincoln switches to a more serious tone to explain how his witnessing of slave auctions was the root of his abolitionist views.

87 Have more recent playwrights been able to present more complex versions of Lincoln in order to make their plays of more than passing interest? We turn next to the years since the end of World War II to find out. Lincoln in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century No new play about Lincoln followed Abe Lincoln in Illinois to Broadway until Norman Corwin’s The Rivalry in 1959. About six Plays about Abraham Lincoln 25 years earlier, Corwin had conceived the idea of adapting the Lincoln— Douglas debates for the theater.

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