Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

This presentation explores the impact Gertrude Berg had as one of the first women to create a long-running series for television, often credited as inventing the “family sitcom.” I will discuss her initial success through her radio show, The Rise of the Goldbergs (1929-1946), for which she served as writer, director, and producer of more than 5,000 episodes and was reportedly paid $7,000 a week in the mid-1930s. I will also detail Berg’s transition from radio to television with her show, The Goldbergs (1949-1956), that she created, wrote, produced, and starred in, making her one of the most prominent faces in television. Finally, I will discuss Berg’s move into film with her movie that she wrote and starred in entitled, The Goldbergs(1950), and to Broadway with her musical, Molly (1973), which she also wrote and starred in. This presentation will provide an overview of critical reviews of Berg’s work as well as responses from contemporary women screenwriters and researchers. In an industry dominated by men, Berg not only dominated the television landscape from the beginning, but she also managed to bring her stories to other mediums.

Disciplines

Screenwriting

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Women Writers of Film & Television Project: Gertrude Berg

This presentation explores the impact Gertrude Berg had as one of the first women to create a long-running series for television, often credited as inventing the “family sitcom.” I will discuss her initial success through her radio show, The Rise of the Goldbergs (1929-1946), for which she served as writer, director, and producer of more than 5,000 episodes and was reportedly paid $7,000 a week in the mid-1930s. I will also detail Berg’s transition from radio to television with her show, The Goldbergs (1949-1956), that she created, wrote, produced, and starred in, making her one of the most prominent faces in television. Finally, I will discuss Berg’s move into film with her movie that she wrote and starred in entitled, The Goldbergs(1950), and to Broadway with her musical, Molly (1973), which she also wrote and starred in. This presentation will provide an overview of critical reviews of Berg’s work as well as responses from contemporary women screenwriters and researchers. In an industry dominated by men, Berg not only dominated the television landscape from the beginning, but she also managed to bring her stories to other mediums.

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