Uses the terminology developed by the Non-Traditional Casting Project (NTCP) to describe different forms of casting. Notes that the stated purpose of the NTCP is "to increase the participation of ethnic, female, and disabled artists in the performing arts in ways that are not token or stereotypical. Cites the work of Michael Omi and Howard Winant in their groundbreaking study, "Racial Formation in the United States from the 1960s to the 1990s," and explores the impact of "ethnicity" and "cultural nationalist" paradigms identified by Omi and Winant on theater activity. Includes endnotes.
Henry J. Conway's adaptation for the stage of "Uncle Tom's Cabin's," performed in 1852 at the Boston Museum, was not "pro-South," but rather it was pro-compromise, staged and emended by the Boston Museum's stage manager, William Henry Sedley Smith.
Suggests that beyond the knowledge to be gained about a particular theatrical genre, examining postwar minstrelsy as cultural performance offers an important vehicle for interpreting the changing character of American life. Focuses on amateur minstrel shows in Knox County, Ohio, during the years following World War II. Includes endnotes.
Argues that the ideology of "the Method" can be understood as a response to the "platonic metaphysics" of cold war America. Suggests that in response to the fear of simulation, "the Method" helped American actors to construct an authentic essence for themselves that they believed could anchor their performances in truthful representation. Indicates that to fend off accusations of "un-Americanism," "the Method" also participated in the discourse of professionalism, which contradicted its commitment to authenticity.
States that the text of Henry J. Conway's adaptation of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was neither "the only just and sensible Dramatic version" nor "pro-South," two labels assigned to it after its opening at P. T. Barnum's American Museum in New York. Contends that its politics was one of compromise, fashioned not by Conway nor by Moses Kimball, the proprietor of the Boston Museum where the script premiered, but by William Henry Sedley Smith, the Boston Museum's stage manager. Uses Smith's diary in a discussion of the Conway adaptation. Includes endnotes.
Focusing on Knox County OH, Sacks provides a close sociological analysis of an example of the kind of amateur blackface being done in the post-WWII US as late as the 1970s. Sacks suggests that the minstrel shows were acts of preservation by whites of a mythical communal past, performances by an agrarian community that felt threatened by urbanization and intrusions.