[The summer theater]

Wednesday, July 07, 1954

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes notes that the summer theater is the most publicized artistic activity that differs from its winter phase. He considers how summer schedules are decided upon. Summer theater uses the great hits of recent years - and use a star from Broadway or Hollywood to do a package show. Also, an established theater might come through and stage a show. He also discusses the benefits of the starving artist.
Seldes mentions he is on vacation on Cape Cod. He speaks highly of his particular vacation spot. He talks about the painters who come to this area to paint in the open air. He speaks of a particular artist, though he seems to like her work, he doubts the story she tells of how she began creating the type of paintings she makes.
Seldes then wonders if we make as much music as our parents generation.

He mentions a radio an adventure program for young teens. He discusses the role of advertisers - noting that beer seems to be a local supporter and tobacco is a national supporter of the arts. He also mentions tobacco, oil, and cosmetics.

He talks about living in the "glamor personality" - the ideal way to live - innocent and blissful. He discusses the game "gibberish."

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71480
Municipal archives id: LT3106

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.


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