School of Drama Professor Emeritus Barry Witham has been awarded the 2014 John W. Frick Book Award by the American Theatre and Drama Society for his book A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter at Hedgerow.
Below is the 2014 John W. Frick Book Award Selection Committee's statement about his book:
“In his elegantly written, thought-provoking study of Jasper Deeter’s Hedgerow Theatre, Barry B. Witham deploys the concept of sustainability to examine how the story of this small, self-supporting theatre company in rural Pennsylvania highlights key trends and developments in US theatre and culture during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. By investigating several productions in Hedgerow’s repertory—ranging from Susan Glaspell’s The Inheritors to Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones to Lynn Rigg’s The Cherokee Night—Dr. Witham shows how Deeter’s creative endeavors grappled with and responded to societal challenges like racial segregation, the Great Depression, and the second World War. Drawing on interviews with surviving members of the company as well as archival sources, Dr. Witham provides striking insights about American theatre history by focusing on small but significant details. As a result, A Sustainable Theatre is an exemplary model for theatre historians studying the cultural significance of individual artists or ensembles."
See the full list of this year's ATDS award winners.
Read an interview with Barry Witham.