From the ball fields to Broadway: Performative identities of professional baseball players on the nineteenth and twentieth century American stage
Stern, Travis W.
- From the ball fields to Broadway: Performative identities of professional baseball players on the nineteenth and twentieth century American stage
- Stern, Travis W.
- Issue Date
- Director of Research (if dissertation) or Advisor (if thesis)
- Kim Lee, Esther
- Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
- Kim Lee, Esther
- Committee Member(s)
- Burgos, Adrian
- Davis, Peter A.
- Hohman, Valleri J.
- Department of Study
- Degree Granting Institution
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Degree Name
- Degree Level
- American Theatre
- American Theatre - Nineteenth Century
- American Theatre - Twentieth Century
- Baseball Players - Nineteenth Century
- Baseball Players - Twentieth Century
- Adrian C. Anson
- Michael J. Kelly
- Christy Mathewson
- Tyrus R. Cobb
- This study examines the theatrical careers of four professional baseball players who appeared in multi-act plays on the American stage in the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century – Adrian “Cap” Anson, Mike “King” Kelly, Christy Mathewson, and Ty Cobb. As a player reached a level of celebrity in the game of baseball, theatrical producers were able to transfer the persona the player had built on the field onto the stage. The formation of each player’s persona is analyzed as well as how the persona was transferred to the stage and interacted with the changing nature of American identity. Anson’s appearance as a fictionalized version of himself in 1895 illustrated how baseball was attempting to appeal to a more respectable audience. Kelly’s performances based on his wealth and success from the game in the 1880s and 1890s transcended his image as solely a baseball player. A play co-authored by Mathewson in 1913 examined the real-life issue of club ownership by a woman in a melodramatic setting that uses Mathewson’s own persona to help model how baseball could deal with such a concern. Cobb’s 1911 performance in the lead role in a popular stage play was complicated by the villainous persona he had acquired through his playing.
- Graduation Semester
- Copyright and License Information
- Copyright 2011 Travis W. Stern
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