[Theater and television]

Sunday, August 05, 1956

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

Seldes opens with an announcement that the circus will be closing for the year and that the despite the announcement that the Metropolitan Opera's season was to be canceled issues have been resolved and it will continue. He wonders at the role of movies, television and radio in the trouble experienced by these other forms of entertainment.

He notes plans for a new city Art's center with four theaters of different sizes. Each of these theaters is planned to fulfill a different function and the theater size suits the type of theater.

He goes on to discuss an aristocratic theater he once visited in Sweden.

Seldes also discusses the theater habits of New Yorkers.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71251
Municipal archives id: LT7529

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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