Seizing the Audience

The actor puts on a memorable performance on stage, by television, through radio, in film, and at times even the political or business arena. Shirley Temple started frolicking before the camera at the age of 3 by mesmerizing both young and old with her voice, dance, and then with her diplomacy for the United Nations. In the 1930s, Lucille Ball captured the attention of men, women, and children by her stage debut, modeling exploits, and as a studio executive. Carol Burnett entered the stage in the 1960s and endeared a generation of fans through televised comedy, earning her a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her unique brand of entertainment. Explore these unique facets of showmanship; child actor, slapstick comic that harkens to the burlesque of yore, public persona as a venue beyond conventional female roles, as a transformative mechanism of expression, realization, or determination.

  • This is a fascinating topic. I'm looking for a common thread between these actresses, and curious about what your main thesis/question would be. Is it specifically that these women defied conventional roles for women, and used this defiance of expectations as part of their "act" on stage or in film? How much of that was in their control? Or is it simply the fact that they, as women, being on stage/in films in these roles, defied conventions? Or are they more like case studies for a broader phenomena of women onstage, changing the industry? This is going to be such an exceptional article and I'm very eager to read it! – Eden 3 years ago

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