Exploring the History of Theater - in One Amazing City

Blog Posts: Commentary and Images for Every Episode

Jan. 27, 2023

The Beauties of Society

The header image is the newly-completed Philadelphia Opera House in 1908 (courtesy Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries). This is followed by a composite drawing of the opera house, Oscar Hammerstein, and the soprano Mari…

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Jan. 13, 2023

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 Philadelphia.  As you can see, there were some white students at Lincoln, but the large majority of…

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Dec. 30, 2022

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, we didn't even quote all the best lines from the article in our episode - especially the headline…

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Dec. 16, 2022

The Syndicate

Above, a contemporary photo montage of the six principal members of The Theatrical Syndicate. Philadelphia producers Samuel F. Nixon (Nirdlinger) and J. Fred Zimmerman - and their mustaches - can be seen at the bottom. Above, Abraham Lincoln Erlang…

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Above is the top of the front page of the Philadelphia North American for Tuesday, October 23rd, 1906. The article, "3000 Negroes Start Riot Trying to Stop Objectionable Play" - the report on the disturbance at the Walnut Street Theatre the previous…

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Above, the title page for the 1845 of George Lippard's full novel The Quaker City.   The illustrator, Felix Octavius Carr Darley, depicts both The Devil Bug revealing a secret tunnel inside Monk Hall, and also a coffin floating in a river, an…

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An 1844 portrait of the young George Lippard, depicted in front of what looks like a lake with a medieval castle (likely referring to a scene from his book The Ladye Annabel). The image is a lithograph by Albert Newsom, from a daguerreotype by John …

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Sept. 30, 2022

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 Philadelphia waterfront, looking across the Delaware River from New Jersey. The City of Camden is actually…

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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 stage of the Hedgerow Theatre, in a scene from Susan Glaspel's Inheritors. Arthur Rich and Jasper…

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  Paul Robeson, in a photo taken by the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in February of 1974.   PART ONE: BEGINNINGSBy the time the above photo was taken, Robeson's history in Philadelphia stretched almost fifty years. Below, an ad that …

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