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Subscription Theater

Democracy and Drama in Britain and Ireland, 1880-1939

Series: Material Texts

Subscription Theater asks why turn-of-the-century British and Irish citizens spent so much time, money, and effort joining subscription lists. Matthew Franks argues that subscribers have been responsible for how we value audience and repertoire today, offering a new account of the relationship between ephemera, drama, and democracy.

Author Information

Matthew Franks is Assistant Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick.


"Matthew Franks convincingly argues that subscription underlay the development of theater audience and repertoire in the modern period. His conclusions are original and make a substantial contribution to both theater history and print culture studies."—Elizabeth Carolyn Miller, University of California, Davis

"Matthew Franks offers valuable knowledge about the wider cultural context—social as well as artistic—of British and Irish Edwardian 'new' drama and stagecraft, the regional repertory movement, and the widespread phenomenon of amateur theater. His methodological focus on printed ephemera presents exciting new ways of thinking about documentary evidence in theater history."—Claire Cochrane, University of Worcester

Audience: College/higher education;