Behind the Screen and Off the Stage

  • Searle Kochberg (Presented paper)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description of Activity

Presenting paper on Rita Hayworth: star persona from 'front stage', thru 'back stage', to 'off stage'

As Part of Behind the Screen and Off the Stage: Film and Television Representations of American Entertainment

Thursday 11th to Saturday13th November 2021

Movies and television shows set in the world of American entertainment have been a central feature of the big and small screens since the early days of Hollywood. From the backstage musical to the star biopic, and from the rise-and-fall narrative to critiques of the business of show, screen narratives have repeatedly sought to dramatize life behind the scenes of American entertainment. Their persistent allure is illustrated in film and television history ranging from Show People (1928) to All About Eve (1950), and from Valley of the Dolls (1967) to Fosse/Verdon (2019) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020). They traverse every genre of film and television, and tell stories of fictional and real-life characters, as well as many who occupy a position in between. These films and television shows take us on mythical journeys through the entertainment industries, illuminate moments of crisis and opportunity, and raise broader issues about what defines American entertainment and the nation’s culture and why.

This three-day virtual conference hosted by the Media, Culture and Creative Technologies Research Group in London Met's School of Computing and Digital Media seeks to explore the history and significance of these self-reflective films and television shows. Convened by Dr Karen McNally, Reader in American Film, Television and Cultural History, the event brings together an international group of scholars to consider a wide variety of approaches to the production and reception of these texts and to their representation of American entertainment behind the screen and off the stage.

The conference includes the following keynote addresses:

Steven Cohan, Dean’s Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Syracuse University, ‘And They Lived Happily Ever After: Tarantino’s Rewriting of Hollywood’s History’
Adrienne L. McLean, Professor of Film Studies at University of Texas at Dallas, ‘Making [It] Up: Cosmetics, Coiffures and Self-reflexivity in Classical Hollywood Cinema’

Full programme details can be viewed on the Conference web page.

We look forward to having you join us for this free virtual event as we investigate and reflect upon the impact and significance of entertainment in American film, television and national culture from early cinema to the digital age.

Registration is required for this free event and tickets are limited.

Period11 Nov 2021
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • rita hayworth
  • star
  • hollywood musical
  • latin
  • anglo