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The New Music TheaterSeeing the Voice, Hearing the Body$
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Eric Salzman and Thomas Desi

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195099362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195099362.001.0001

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(p.229) Chapter 13 Downtown
The New Music Theater

Eric Salzman

Thomas Desi

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the history of the off-Broadway theater in New York going back to the experimental music theater projects of the 1930s and the extended run of the Blitzstein version of the Weill/Brecht 3-Penny Opera in the '60s, along with the inheritance of the various experimental theater companies such as the Living Theater, the Open Theater, the Performance Group, Quog Music Theater, and the Music Theater Group. Non-traditional theaters and other performance venues have developed new theatrical forms that tend strongly towards the condition of music theater. Other downtown developments include the growth of dance theater and the proliferation of what came to be known as performance art (or just “performance”), in lofts, galleries, church basements, and specialized venues, in Manhattan and, afterwards, in Brooklyn and other parts of the country, notably California.

Keywords:   off-Broadway, experimental music theater, lofts, galleries, church basements, Manhattan, Brooklyn, California

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