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Palgrave Macmillan

Entertaining Children

The Participation of Youth in the Entertainment Industry

ISBN 9781137305459
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History

Children have been exploited as performers and wooed energetically as consumers throughout history. These thrusts have brought managers and parents into conflict with legislators who have attempted to control such exploitation, often the result of preconceived ideas about the role of children and childhood in their cultural contexts. Entertaining Children offers scholarly  investigations into the employment and participation of children in the entertainment industry with examples drawn from historical and contemporary contexts. In addition to British and North American perspectives, the contributors encompass practices in Australasia, Italy, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, and mainland China, spanning from the eighteenth century to the interwar years and contemporary twenty-first century practices.

Gillian Arrighi is Senior Lecturer in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research on circus and on young people in the entertainment industry has been published widely in international journals and in edited collections. She is Associate Editor of the e-journal, Popular Entertainment Studies.

Victor Emeljanow is Emeritus Professor in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and General Editor of the e-journal Popular Entertainment Studies. He has published widely on subjects ranging from the reception of Chekhov in Britain and the career of Theodore Kommisarjevsky to Victorian popular dramatists. He co-wrote the award-winning Reflecting the Audience: London Theatregoing 1840–1880 (2001, with Jim Davis) and Herbert Beerbohm Tree in the series "Lives of Shakespearian Actors" (2012).

Introduction: 'Setting the Scene': An Introduction; Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow
1. Musical Education and the Job Market: The Employment of Children and Young People in the Neapolitan Music Industry with Particular Reference to the Period 1650 to 1806; Rossella Del Prete
2. An American Antebellum Child-Actor Contract: Alfred Stewart and the Shift from Craft Apprentice to Wage Laborer; Shauna Vey
3. Children and Youth of the Empire: Tales of Transgression and Accommodation; Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow
4. British Child Performers 1920-1940: New Issues, Old Legacies; Dyan Colclough
5. 'How Much Do You Love Me'? The Child's Obligations to the Adult in 1930s Hollywood; Noel Brown
6. Shifting Screens: The Child Performer and her Audience Revisited in the Digital Age; Gilli Bush-Bailey
7. The Business of Children in Disney's Theatre; Ken Cerniglia and Lisa Mitchell
8. Young Mammals: The Politics and Aesthetics of Long-Term Collaboration with Children in Mammalian Diving Reflex's The Torontonians; Broderick D.V. Chow and Darren O'Donnell

9. The 'Little Legong Dancers' of Bali: Child Stars in Indonesian Dance Theatre; Laura Noszlopy
10. Child Training and Employment in Taiwanese Opera 1940s - 1960s: An Overview; Shih-Ching H. Picucci
11. Higher Wages, Less Pain: The Changing Role of Children in Traditional Chinese Theater; Mark Branner
12. Defying Death: Children in the Indian Circus; Jamie Skidmore

Rossella Del Prete, Università degli Studi del Sannio, Italy
Shih-Ching H. Picucci, University of Durham, UK
Mark Branner, University of Hawai'i, Manoa, USA
Gilli Bush-Bailey, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Dyan Colclough, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
James Skidmore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
Shauna Vey, City University of New York, USA
Laura Noszlopy, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Noel Brown, Newcastle University, UK
Ken Cerniglia, Disney Theatrical Group
Lisa Mitchell, Disney Theatrical Group
Broderick D.V. Chow, Brunel University, UK
Darren O'Donnell, Mammalian Diving Reflex/University of Toronto, Canada


"Readers should resist the urge to pick out one or two essays to peruse, since what really sets this collection apart is its global, generic, and methodological inclusiveness. We learn not only about stage plays and musicals but also film, TV, dance, and experimental theatre; not only about what adult viewers make of child performers but what former child performers make of their own experiences. This excellent collection of essays should inspire more theatre historians and cultural critics to pay attention to the centrality of children as makers and consumers of entertainment." - Marah Gubar, Director, Children's Literature Program, University of Pittsburgh, USA
"The participation of children in entertainment industries the world over has been unquestioned for centuries. This volume makes vital progress in addressing aesthetic, economic, and political questions essential for exposing assumptions and practices which have governed the work of juvenile performers across the globe. Surprising by its geographical and chronological reach, from Bali to Toronto, Melbourne to Naples, and with stories from the Renaissance to YouTube, the scholarship here is rigorous, diverse, and challenging." - Anne Varty, Professor, English Department, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
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