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and shook the living daylights out of them.

The Living Newspaper was never self-conscious about its intent to be dramatic. It took facts and shook the living daylights out of them. True, it took its basic continuity from an idea and the development of an idea — (rather than the subjective experience of one or two people) — but the so-called Living Newspaper approach gained in dramatic strength as it went deeper and deeper into an idea.

ex letter dated 26 January 1953 from Emmet Lavery (1902-86 *), in appendix (pages 146-47), Patricia Ronayne McVey (1925-69), The History and Development of the Living Newspaper in the American Theatre. MA Thesis, Department of Drama, USC (August 1953)   *

The form was a spoken montage of texts, from newspaper and other documentary sources; its glue was subject, music and lighting effects, not character or narrative. It dramatized sought to illuminate a current problem, tracing its history and development, and taking a positive stand on the solution. (116) It involved (and employed) many actors and others, not least for researching the stories.

The form brings — to this mind — the experimental techniques of John Dos Passos (1896-1970 *) his U.S.A. Trilogy (1930-36), and also Heimrad Bäcker (1905-2003 *) his Transcript (Nachschrift).
More (including further resources) on the Living Newspaper at wikipedia.

6 March 2016

facts; ideas; method; shaking; The Living Newspaper; E. Lavery; P. R. McVey