Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Mary Kelton

Second Advisor

Mary Kelton


The greatest thing that vaudeville contributed to the legitimate theatre and to films was talented artists. Many performers who became well known on the stage and screen began in vaudeville. It even occurred that performers with hardly any training at all had an opportunity to perform on vaudeville, and after some time became some of the best performers America has seen. Vaudeville is significant not only because it was an important part of American history in general, but also because it created and trained many artists for successful careers, particularly in film and radio. Without it, many famous and influential film and stage actors might never have made it quite as far as they did. Not only that, but without vaudeville we would also not have had many of the creative directors, writers, and composers that graced American films with their talents. If vaudeville had not given artists the training required, it is difficult to imagine what theatre and film of the twentieth century would be like.