The University of Wisconsin Press


Theater / Folklore



Grassroots Theater
A Search for Regional Arts in America
Robert Gard
With a Foreword by David H. Stevens
and a new Introduction by Maryo Gard Ewell



A classic of regional theater back in print

"Robert Gard's influence will be felt at the grassroots for decades to come. Small wonder he has been called the Johnny Appleseed of American grassroots theater. His book tells why."—August Derleth

Robert Gard's timeless book is a moving account of one man's struggle to bring his dream of community-building through creative theater to citizens around the country. He traveled across America—from New York's Finger Lakes to the prairies of Alberta, Canada, to the backwoods of northern Wisconsin—discovering and nurturing the folklore, legends, history, and drama of the region. He talked to ballad singers, painters, the tellers of tall tales, and farm women, whose poetry and painting reflected the elemental violence of nature and quiet joys of neighborliness. Grassroots Theater   reminds us that an individual's creative vision transcends technology, current events, and changing demographics.

Robert Gard (1910–1992) was professor at University of Wisconsin–Madison and founder and director of the Wisconsin Idea Theater. The author of more than forty books, twenty of them novels, he wrote extensively on theater, Wisconsin history, and folklore.

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The cover of Grassroots Theater shows a blue-toned woodcut of two horses drawing a plow.

August 1999

290 pp.    5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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ISBN 978-
0-299-01234-2
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