National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development


National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
Vol. 6, Issue 3 (2021)

Twentieth century American drama: Analysis


Saroj

The American drama has witnessed tremendous changes altogether through these years. Initially, American drama imitated English and European theatre until well into the twentieth century. Mostly, plays from England were translated from European languages. While in nineteenth century, melodramas with exemplary democratic figures and clear contrasts between good and evil were popular. Plays about social issues like slavery also drew large audiences; sometimes these plays were mirror images of novels like Uncle Tom's Cabin. Not until the twentieth century would serious plays attempt aesthetic invention. Minstrel shows, based on African-American music and style - performed by white artists using makeup "blackface" - also developed original forms and expressions. The large change of mindset and Modernism, which gradually evolved in Europe and the United States in the early years of the 20th century, administered a way of Modernization through art as a steep break from the past, also as from Western civilization's classical traditions. Often American plays of the 18th and 19th centuries are strongly influenced by British art and style. In fact, every New York City theatre season presented more British plays than American plays until 1910. Although the British plays dominated the American stage for therefore long, from 1828 to 1836, American drama had begun to move aside from British drama by the time of Andrew Jackson’s presidency.
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