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Theater and Performing Arts

The American theater has as vital a tradition as American literature and music. Once centered in New York City, which still has a major input into the theater world, American theater is flourishing all over the country. “Regional” (non-New York) theater now accounts for 90% of all plays shown in the United States.

American playwrights of the 20th century have been formidable. Eugene O’Neill is widely considered the most influential. Thornton Wilder, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, August Wilson and Wendy Wasserstein have also been highly acclaimed.

Other performing arts, such as dance, are vital in America, and are not restricted to New York or the other large cities. American painting and sculpture also has reached the American mainstream, with artists able to live and work in all areas of the country, often with significant community support. There is a trend in the United States toward greater interest in the arts of all kinds, greater museum and concert attendance, and in general toward a heightened awareness of all the arts in American society.

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