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Weavers of Dreams, Unite!Actors' Unionism in Early Twentieth-Century America$
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Sean P. Holmes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037481

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037481.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Weavers of Dreams, Unite!

Weavers of Dreams, Unite!

(p.1) Introduction Weavers of Dreams, Unite!
Weavers of Dreams, Unite!

Sean P. Holmes

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which to explore the efforts of American actors to define what it meant to earn a living on the stage at a historical moment when the cultural landscape of the United States was undergoing seismic changes. In so doing, it sheds light on a number of larger issues: the nature of cultural production in the early twentieth century; languages of class and their role in the construction of cultural hierarchy; and the special problems that unionization posed for workers in the commercial entertainment industry. The book focuses on that section of the American acting community that earned its living in the so-called legitimate theater, a cultural category that by the early twentieth century had come to be defined, at least in a metropolitan context, less by a particular set of performance traditions than by the social identity of its audience. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Americans, unionism, trade unionization, cultural productions, theater actors, metropolitan theater

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