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Grant number like: FT-53632-05

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

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2005 – 7/31/2005

Theater and the Commercialization of Culture in France and the Colonies, 1680-1789

Between 1680 and 1789, at least seventy French cities inaugurated their first municipal playhouse, and more than a dozen engaged resident theater companies. My book manuscript examines the rapid expansion of professional theater in eighteenth-century France, when provincial and colonial cities embraced the performing arts as a central aspect of urban culture. I address why and how this investment in cultural life took place, as well as the consequences for audiences, governing elites, and actors. The successful expansion of theater outside of Paris, I argue, involved a transition from a culture of patronage to a modern commercial culture.