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

29. The Quaker City: The Forbidden Play of 1844, Part One

Sept. 30, 2022

We set the scene for the 1844 battle over the play at Philadelphia's Chestnut Street Theater, entitled "The Quaker City, or the Monks of Monk Hall," by George Lippard. How and why this production came about will be the story…

Season Two Announcement: Drama is Conflict

Sept. 23, 2022

A quick announcement about our upcoming season of new episodes!

Jasper Deeter and the Hedgerow Theatre

Sept. 16, 2022

Jasper Deeter formed Philadelphia's oldest repertory theater company in 1923. His work as a director,  actor, visionary and acting teacher had a profound affect on shaping Philadelphia theater for years to come. In this sho…

The Paul Robeson House

July 29, 2022

This special episode of the podcast goes on a journey to the Paul Robeson House and Museum in Philadelphia. Included is an interview with Janice Sykes-Ross of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and a recording of a liv…

Special Episode: "Good Night Sweet Prince: John Barrymore Comes Home"

July 8, 2022

Like the ghost of Hamlet's father, John Barrymore wouldn't stay still and kept showing up! A chapter about Philadelphia's most famous acting family, from Wicked Philadelphia , a book by Thomas H. Keels Wicked Philadelphia: …

28. Life & Death in the Theater: More 19th Century Stories

June 17, 2022

Here are six more stories of 19th C. Philadelphia theater. We discuss Alexander Reinagle, Joseph Jefferson III, James Murdoch, Matilda Heron, John McCullough - as well as two stagehands at the Walnut Street Theatre you likel…

Recent Blog Posts

Philadelphia in 1844

ABOVE, a view of Philadelphia in 1840, from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia. We can see in this image a view of the Philadelph…

Photos of the Hedgerow & Jasper Deeter

Cover of Barry Witham's book, A Sustainable Theatre, with an engraving of the Hedgerow Theatre by Wharton EsherickBelow, photo of Jasper Deeter on the st…

"The House I Live In" - Paul Robeson in Philadelphia

  Paul Robeson, in a photo taken by the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in February of 1974.   PART ONE: BEGINNINGSBy the time the above pho…