Download Absence and Memory in Colonial American Theatre: Fiorelli’s by O. Johnson PDF

By O. Johnson

History, they are saying, has a grimy tongue. in terms of colonial theatre in the US, what we all know approximately functionality has come from the detractors of theatre and never its manufacturers. but this doesn't account for the flourishing theatrical circuit proven among 1760 and 1776. This research explores the culture's social help of the theatre.

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Extra info for Absence and Memory in Colonial American Theatre: Fiorelli’s Plaster

Example text

Central to this new social positioning was the ownership of property. Douglass built and maintained permanent playhouses in seven colonial cities, to which the American Company returned regularly, including Williamsburg. Though we do not have the original contract of the 1760 playhouse in Williamsburg, other surviving records suggest that Douglass built the theatre-as he would in many other colonial cities-by community subscription, on lots he had purchased, and retained the title to both property and playhouse long after the season had closed and the company moved on.

In its day, the two- or three-story theatre would have been clearly visible along the length of the Duke of Gloucester Street, certainly the largest building on the Exchange (the eastern street of coffeehouses and taverns); it would have been a prominent feature punctuating the low-slung profile of the Williamsburg skyline. 15 As noted, at ground level the theatre's foundation was brick, but the upper story or stories were of frame construction and probably painted red, as many eighteenth-century playhouses were.

25 But the company did not return; they went to New York instead, where they encountered initial difficulties and could not or chose not to send back money. The Williamsburg debts went unpaid, the lien expired, the playhouse was forfeited, and claimants, Finnie, Charlton, and Stretch, immediately went to court over ownership. The names are bogus: Seth Seekright, pit. against Barnaby Badtide, def. in ejectnt. for 2 lots of land contiguous together whereon the Playhouse now stands in the Parish of Bruton in the Co.

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