- By Leslie Stainton

Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts

  • Title: Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts
  • Author: Leslie Stainton
  • ISBN: 9780271063652
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Paperback
  • Staging Ground An American Theater and Its Ghosts In this poignant and personal history of one of America s oldest theaters Leslie Stainton captures the story not just of an extraordinary building but of a nation s tumultuous struggle to invent itse

    In this poignant and personal history of one of America s oldest theaters, Leslie Stainton captures the story not just of an extraordinary building but of a nation s tumultuous struggle to invent itself Built in 1852 and in use ever since, the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is uniquely ghosted Its foundations were once the walls of a colonial jail that in 176In this poignant and personal history of one of America s oldest theaters, Leslie Stainton captures the story not just of an extraordinary building but of a nation s tumultuous struggle to invent itself Built in 1852 and in use ever since, the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is uniquely ghosted Its foundations were once the walls of a colonial jail that in 1763 witnessed the massacre of the last surviving Conestoga Indians Those same walls later served to incarcerate fugitive slaves Staging Ground explores these tragic events and their enduring resonance in a building that later became a town hall, theater, and movie house the site of minstrel shows, productions of Uncle Tom s Cabin, oratory by the likes of Thaddeus Stevens and Mark Twain, performances by Buffalo Bill and his troupe of Wild Indians, Hollywood Westerns, and twenty first century musicals.Interweaving past and present, private anecdote and public record, Stainton unfolds the story of this emblematic space, where for than 250 years Americans scripted and rescripted their history Staging Ground sheds light on issues that continue to form us as a people the evolution of American culture and faith, the immigrant experience, the growth of cities, the emergence of women in art and society, the spread of advertising, the flowering of transportation and technology, and the abiding paradox of a nation founded on the principle of equality for all men, yet engaged in the slave trade and in the systematic oppression of the American Indian.

    1 thought on “Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts

    1. After struggling through over half of the book and learning way more about the author's personal life than I cared to know, I gave up on this book. The history of the Fulton Theater was interesting but I tired of searching for that information hiding between her story and lengthy dissertations about theater and acting in general. Sorry, Leslie Stainton. I tried.

    2. Great book that shares the interesting history of such a beautiful building. I worked there for two years after the '95 renovation (1997-1999)Some of the personal details shared by the author were too much for me, but it's her book and it's the story in the way she wanted to tell it.

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