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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines censorship and the politics of reception by focusing on Marc Blitzstein’s opera The Cradle Will Rock. It first describes the external events that conspired to enable Blitzstein’s work to circumvent the censors, making it a legend in the history of American theater. It then considers three screenplays that translated the events connected with the premiere of The Cradle Will Rock to the big screen: the first two written separately by Ring Lardner Jr. and Orson Welles in the mid-1980s and the third written by Tim Robbins in the late 1990s. The article explains how each screenplay illustrates the fact that the relevance of censorship is open to various interpretations and can be used to serve a number of agendas.

Keywords: censorship, politics of reception, Marc Blitzstein, opera, The Cradle Will Rock, theater, screenplays, Ring Lardner Jr., Orson Welles, Tim Robbins

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