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Faculty Publication: “In the Long Run” Examines Broadway’s Most Popular Plays

Routledge publishes new book by Jordan Schildcrout, Associate Professor of Theatre & Performance

Routledge has announced the publication of In the Long Run: A Cultural History of Broadway’s Hit Plays by Purchase College faculty member Jordan Schildcrout. Combining archival research and textual analysis, the book offers in-depth histories of 15 plays that ran over 1,000 performances on Broadway, examining what made each so popular in its time—and then, in many cases, fall into obscurity.

“The most popular plays are not necessarily the best works of theatrical art,” Dr. Schildcrout commented, “but they function as cultural commodities that reflect the values, conflicts, and fantasies of their times. There’s much to learn not just about the Broadway theatre, but about American society at large, through an exploration of these long-running hits.” Among the plays examined in the book are Life with Father, Tobacco Road, Barefoot in the Park, and Harvey.

The final manuscript of In the Long Run was revised and refined through Dr. Schildcrout’s work with Purchase College students in a Theatre & Performance seminar during the fall semester of 2018. All of the students involved in the class, including undergraduates and senior auditors, are thanked by name in the book.

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