Michael Schwartz, associate professor in the Department of Theater and Dance, is contributing a chapter to a collection of scholarly essays on theater and the Progressive Era. The book is Performing the Progressive Era: Immigration, Urban Life, and Nationalism on Stage, edited by Max Shulman and J. Chris Westgate.
Schwartz’s chapter, titled “Systematic Vaudeville and Systemic Farce: The Unlikely Team of Taylor and Schmidt,” focuses on the controversial pioneer of scientific management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, and his use of vaudeville-style scripts to illustrate the efficacy of his methods.
The chapter further examines how the immigrant experience was reflected in the world of vaudeville comedy teams and dialect humor, how Taylor used such dialect humor to his advantage, and how vaudeville in turn tweaked Taylor’s ideas as a source of amusement.
The book will be published by University of Iowa Press in May 2019.