David Savran’s ‘Highbrow/Lowdown’ selected as best theater and performance book of the last two years by NYU

by University of Michigan Press on July 29, 2010

More book details David Savran’s Highbrow/Lowdown: Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class was just given one of the highest accolades in the theater and performance world: the prestigious Joe A. Callaway Prize, awarded to the best book on drama or theater in 2008 or 2009.

Savran’s book explores how the explosion of jazz in the 1920s helped to change theater forever, as playwrights, producers, and critics successfully rushed to distinguish the newly emerging literary theater from its “illegitimate” cousins.

The Prize is awarded biennially by New York University, and carries a cash award of $9,000.

“The book was selected from a large number of distinguished works on dramatic literature, performance theory, and theatre history,” said a statement by NYU.

The three-member panel of judges, chaired by Una Chaudhuri, professor of English and Drama at NYU, characterized Highbrow/Lowdown as a “work of deeply researched, theoretically sophisticated, and ideologically provocative scholarship.”

A new paperback version of the book was released this month by the University of Michigan Press, publisher of the original hardcover.

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