Brown Bag Staged Readings: Parlor Play and Contesting Class in Nineteenth-Century America 13 November 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Michael D’Alessandro, Duke University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars 2019-2020//parlortableaux_cut.jpg

This talk focuses on the curious practice of nineteenth-century parlor theatricals in the United States. In the postbellum years, the country’s evolving middle classes created elaborate sets, donned fancy costumes, and even attempted amateur special effects as a means of entertainment. While they staged these shows in order to create class definition and solidarity, the performances often revealed unforeseen social anxieties and prejudices.