He has published widely in American theatre history, theatre historiography, and performance and cognitive studies.
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He was the Editor of Theatre Survey, journal of the American Society for Theatre Research from to , and is the author of over fifty articles in journals, encyclopedias, and anthologies. He was a professional New York critic and a professional actor. She is a scholar, translator, playwright, and director focusing on Japanese, intercultural, and fusion theatre.
Theatre Histories : An Introduction. Of particular interest is his discussion of Native American playwright and actress Gowongo Mohawk.
Hall's main argument is that New York audiences participated in a revolt against the "aristocracy of the critics" by enthusiastically attending frontier productions in spite of terrible reviews. Hall says the opinions of these huge working class audiences eventually moved frontier drama from low-brow entertainment to high-brow art.
Imbedded in this argument is the problematic claim that frontier plays improved as they moved from melodrama to realism, a positivist view that mars an otherwise strong argument for the value and influence of these dramas. Hall's work complements three other studies of American melodrama.
Jeffery Mason, in Melodrama and the Myth of America , disagrees with Hall about the meaning of frontier plays, offering readers an interesting counterpoint. Bruce McConachie's Melodramatic Formations: American Theatre and Society, is more theoretical in approach and more sweeping in its coverage.
Rosemarie Bank's Theatre Culture in America, contains excellent information about frontier drama that enriches Hall's work. Other International and Area Studies Commons. Advanced Search.
Melodramatic Formations: American Theatre and Society, 1820-1870.
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