We tend to think of the middle of the twentieth century as a litany of horrors, from the trenches of the First World War and the atrocities of the Second to the fear of nuclear annihilation that came with the early decades of the Cold War. However, as Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin chronicles in her new book, On the Performance Front: US Theatre and Internationalism, there were also plenty of theatre artists during this time who believed that they could bring about a better future by sharing their work with the world.

Scene from the production of Porgy & Bess that toured the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University.

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