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.

Recent Episodes

Episode 18: The Duchess of Arch Street, Part One

Oct. 15, 2021

Louisa Lane Drew was known for her management of Philadelphia's "Mrs. John Drew's Arch Street Theatre". We begin the story of her rise to fame and respectability, and chronicle her early years, long before she became the gra…

2021 Walking Tour of Philadelphia Theater History Announcement

Sept. 30, 2021

If you'd like to come along, email me at: Support the show (

Episode 17: Fanny Kemble, Part Two

Sept. 24, 2021

Fanny Kemble feels trapped in her new marriage, and learns the stark truth about American slavery and how she herself has become implicated in its horrors. We detail in this episode how, after a long struggle, she finally wo…

Episode 16: Fanny Kemble, Part One

Sept. 10, 2021

Fanny Kemble and her father Charles Kemble, representatives of the most famous English theatrical family of their day, appeared at both the Chestnut Street Theatre and Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in the early 1830s…

Episode 15: Forrest of Philadelphia, Part Three

Aug. 20, 2021

The tragedian Edwin Forrest returns to his home city in the final decades of his life. He keeps performing on the city's stages, and creates his long-term legacy in Philadelphia.

Episode 14: Forrest of Philadelphia, Part Two

Aug. 6, 2021

In this episode we cover the period from 1829 to 1836, when Edwin Forrest was building the repertoire of roles that would shape his career: Metamora, Spartacus, and Jack Cade.

Recent Blog Posts

Louisa Lane Hunt Mossop Jamieson (possibly) Drew - Blog Po…

Above, print of Louisa Lane in Twelve Absolutely, 1828. (Collection of the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin)Below, an image of the s…

Philadelphia Theater History Walking Tour - October 23rd, …

As promised, here are the details of the FIRST EVER Adventures in Theater History Walking Tour!!!I will personally be leading a walking tour along the st…

The Wandering Rhapsodist - Blog Post and Bibliography for …

Above, Fanny Kemble reads Shakespeare aloud at the St. James Theatre in London - from the Illustrated London News, August 10th, 1850. As we detail in the…