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(1950–1955)

Plot Summary

  • Produced by Albert McCleery, NBC's Cameo Theatre (1950) was a live dramatic anthology series that ran in various time slots from 1950 to 1955. With minimal props and sets, Cameo Theatre (1950) borrowed the concept of intimate theater-in-the-round, popularized by influential producer-director 'Margo Jones' (1912-1955) during the years 1947 to 1955 at her Dallas theater; the first U.S. professional arena theater, it also pioneered the use of closed-circuit television so actors waiting offstage for their cues could see what was happening on the stage. While live television dramas were often limited by camera placement, McCleery solved the problem by eliminating all large scenery or backdrops on his Cameo Theatre (1950). Since the background was solid black, camera operators had total freedom and could easily move about in the darkness to pick up any close shot or unusual angle as directed. Thus, the emphasis was on the actors and close-up characterizations, seen without distractions. The series did both originals and adaptations, including a three-part adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt." Premiering 16 May 1950 with 'Arthur Miller''s "It Takes a Thief," the series began as a summer replacement for the second half hour of All Star Revue (1950) and aired until 27 September 1950. The second season ran from 18 June 1951 to 6 August 1951. In 1952, it was a midseason replacement on Sundays for Leave It to the Girls (1949), airing from 6 January 1952 until 13 April 1952. The final season was 3 July 1955 to 21 August 1955.

    - Written by Bhob Stewart <bhob2@earthlink.net>
  • Live dramatic plays presented in the round with minimal props, scenery and costumes.

    - Written by Jack McKillop

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