Chapter

Later Than You Think?

in Theater of the Mind

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780226853505
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226853529 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226853529.003.0009
Later Than You Think?

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Arch Oboler, a radio writer and director, began writing radio plays while he was still a student. Several of his radio plays use the kaleidosonic and intimacy structures associated with Norman Corwin, while others exemplify stream of consciousness based on Wyllis Cooper's approach. As a radio director, Oboler was known for cuing his actors from a tabletop and once directed Joan Crawford to perform barefoot. He correctly predicted that radio would face criticism during the postwar years for its emphasis on commercialism. This chapter shows that despite its perceived moribundity, radio drama in the United States actually expanded during the period identified by Oboler. It also shows that dramatists expressed Cold War anxieties by creating plays with immobile protagonists and races against time—a new kind of “drama of space and time” that was distinct in many ways from the one that prospered during the late Depression.

Keywords: Arch Oboler; radio plays; Cold War; radio drama; United States; space and time; commercialism

Chapter.  7697 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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