Adventures in Theater History: Philadelphia

Adventures in Theater History: Philadelphia

An exploration of the History of Theater in the City of Philadelphia - from Early Colonial times, through the Industrial Era, all the way into the 21st Century.

Episodes

Special Episode: Interview by "The Theatre History Podcast"

July 23, 2021

This is an edited version of the interview with Peter Schmitz by Mike Lueger of "The Theatre History Podcast". In the interview, Peter tries to answer Mike's many excellent questions about this podcast, such as: "Why Philadelphia?" To listen to more episode of The Theatre History Podcast, go to: ht…

#TheaterHistory #PhiladelphiaHistory #EdwinForrest

Episode 13: The Forrest of Philadelphia - Part One

July 9, 2021

Part One of our story of Philadelphia's own Edwin Forrest, the first great star of the American Stage! We follow him from birth, through his early years, to his initial success.

Guest: Tom Schmitz

Episode 12: The Stages of Fire

June 25, 2021

An exploration of Philadelphia's theater fires in the 1800s, and how efforts to prevent fires affect the physical environment of theatergoing today.

Episode 11: The Theatrical Commonwealth

June 11, 2021

Wars, fires, melodramas, circuses, balloons, and ice cream . . . plus, for even more excitement, an examination of the economic model of American Theater in its early years! Woohoo! They're all in this episode, as we complete our multi-episode exploration of Philadelphia Theater History in the per…

Episode 10: George Frederick Cooke Heads to Philadelphia

May 28, 2021

George Frederick Cooke, one of the greatest actors of the English stage, came to town in 1811 while on a barnstorming tour of America. His performances at the New Theatre on Chestnut Street astonished audiences, and he left behind many stories about his wild behavior offstage. His legacy in Philade…

Episode 9: Chaos Comes to Walnut Street

May 14, 2021

The hurricanes of World History blow a French equestrian circus company all the way to Philadelphia. The Walnut Street Theatre is born. Meanwhile back on Chestnut Street, the New Theatre is forging ahead with its annual seasons of plays and spectacles. Some historical figures of our story depart, a…

Recent Blog Posts

"Returning Home in Triumph" - Blog Post and Bibliography f…

Above Left: Edwin Forrest as Rolla in Pizzaro, in a black-and-white photo of the portrait by John B. Neagle (1796-1865). Above Right: Engraving of the …

Burning Down the House - Blog Post, Map, and Bibliography …

Above, a poster advertising the production Ranch 10, a Western drama by Harry Meredith playing at the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia during Nov…

Wars, Fires, Balloons and Ice Cream: Blog Post, Map, and B…

Above, a hand-colored etching from 1811 by Denis Dighton. It depicts "Mrs. H. Johnson" (Nanette Johnson, née Parker) as 'Zorilda' in the melodrama…