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Grant number like: FA-53920-08

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Lauren Reynolds Clay
Texas A & M University, College Station (College Station, TX 77843-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$29,400 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 12/31/2008

Theater in France and the Colonies, 1680-1789

Between 1680 and 1789, at least seventy cities in France and eleven French colonial cities inaugurated their first public playhouse, and more than ten of these engaged resident theater companies. My book manuscript examines this rapid expansion of professional theater in eighteenth-century France, when provincial and colonial cities embraced the performing arts as a central aspect of urban public life. I address why and how this investment in cultural life took place, as well as the consequences it would have for actors and actresses, local and royal authorities, and the rapidly growing theater public. The successful expansion of theater outside of Paris, I argue, was founded upon a transition from a court-based culture of patronage and privilege to a modern commercial culture.