Pinafores, Prodigies, and Precosities: child actors on trans-global stages

topic of clever children comes up, you might think of the extraordinarily talented kids that have recently appeared in global television formats such as Simon Cowell’s Got Talent. Or perhaps Cauley McCulkin and the Home Alone films…Shirley Temple and the kid films of the 1930s? Or perhaps even Buster Keaton who got his start in show business working with his parents in The Three Keatons Vaudeville team. This book goes back to where the recurring phenomenon of child stars began…to the vibrant theatre industries of New York and Boston, London, Sydney and Melbourne at the turn of the twentieth century. Theatrical producers, parents and popular audiences invested in child performers on an unprecedented scale by valuing their talents for singing, dancing, acting and entertaining the masses.

Gillian Arrighi’s ground-breaking research on this book has been generously supported by UoN’s Faculty of Education and Arts and by visiting research fellowships at the University of Texas at Austin (2015), Harvard University (2018), and the National Library of Australia (2017). The book manuscript is on track for completion in late 2018.

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