Exploring the History of Theater - in One Amazing City
Adventures in Theater History: Philadelphia

Adventures in Theater History: Philadelphia

Recent Episodes

46. Hammerstein's Opera House, Part One

Jan. 27, 2023

We meet Manhattan opera impresario Oscar Hammerstein, and learn how the "Opera War" with his rival, the Metropolitan Opera Company, spread all the way to Philadelphia. What remains behind is not only an amazing theater, but …

45. The Fight Against The Clansman, Part Three

Jan. 13, 2023

1906: A coalition of African American men attempt to stop Thomas Dixon Jr.'s play The Clansman from being performed in Philadelphia. After leading a public protest in front of the Walnut Street Theatre, the whole matter ends…

44. Holiday Show - 2022

Dec. 30, 2022

Seven short and light vignettes from the history of Philadelphia Theater - all of which took place in the city during the Holiday, from various theatrical seasons over the past 150 years. A gift to all of you listeners and s…

43. The Fight Against The Clansman, Part Two

Dec. 16, 2022

We continue our story about Thomas Dixon Jr. and his 1905 play The Clansman with an examination of the early life of this formidable man. We learn the root causes of his political obsessions - and about his need to express h…

42. The Fight Against The Clansman, Part One

Nov. 25, 2022

We begin the harrowing story of The Clansman in Philadelphia. Although this play by Thomas W. Dixon is known as the progenitor to the 1915 D.W. Griffith film Birth of the Nation , few are aware of its early controversial his…

41. Encore Episode: "I Fear No One" - Native American Performance in 19th Century Philadelphia

Nov. 11, 2022

A re-broadcast of an episode originally released in November of 2021. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, an exploration of performances by Indigenous People in theaters of the City of Philadelphia in the 19th Cen…

Recent Blog Posts

The Beauties of Society

The header image is the newly-completed Philadelphia Opera House in 1908 (courtesy Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries). Thi…

The Learned Professions

The above photograph is the graduating class of 1900 at Lincoln College (later Lincoln University) in Oxford, Pennsylvania - to the southwest of Philadel…

Pajama Tops Bottoms Out

Above, the William B. Collins' 1973 review in the Philadelphia Inquirer about his visit to the Locust Street Theatre to see Pajama Tops.As you can see, w…