ERIC Number: ED193703
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Swedish Theatre in the United States.
Harvey, Anne-Charlotte Hanes
The Swedish ethnic theatre in the United States flourished and provided a vigorous cultural expression among Swedish immigrants for over five decades beginning in San Francisco in 1863. Swedes in Chicago alone produced between 9 and 24 plays per season from 1888 to 1915. All over the United States, Swedish settlements had their own Swedish theatres, which produced plays primarily from Sweden. Characters in Swedish-American plays were easily recognizable and audiences particularly loved the country yokel. The most popular play was "Varmlanningarna," a six-act national romantic folk play with a melodramatic plot. By the 1890s, theatre groups and audiences were recruited from the immigrants who had not known theatre back in Sweden. The only actor to make a living for an extended time was Hjalmar Peterson, known as "Olle from Laughtersville," who formed a company of up to twenty performers. The 1930s brought a decline in the Swedish ethnic theatre, primarily due to the gradual loss of the use of the Swedish language. (MKM)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Theatre Association (44th, San Diego, CA, August 10-13, 1980).