The Way Theater Worked in 1955


In 1955, playwright Arthur Miller, author of Death of a Salesman, published the essay “The American Theater” in the American travel magazine HolidayHoliday ran from 1946 and 1977. Joan Didion’s “Notes from a Native Daughter” first appeared in Holiday. Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Paul Bowles and John Steinbeck wrote for it. Though E.B. White’s Holiday magazine essay “Here Is New York,” and Truman Capote’s “Brooklyn Heights: A Personal Memoir,” were later published as slim, stand-alone books and have assumed canonical status, “The American Theater” is a compelling analysis of Broadway system, and many of Miller’s observations still ring true. Holiday folded in 1977 and just relaunched in France this year. I found Miller’s essay in the 1956 anthology Ten Years of Holiday, though the essay appears in The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller. Below is a short excerpt from “The American Theater”:

All over…

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