Exploring the History of Theater - in One Amazing City

Blog Posts: Commentary and Images for Every Episode

July 8, 2022

"Alas, Poor Yorick!"

Above, John Barrymore's oblong grave marker at Mount Vernon Cemetery in North Philadelphia. After many years of being unmarked, the oblong was finally placed there largely due to the efforts of local Barrymore buff Mark Apfel. Below left is a photo …

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June 17, 2022

Back to the 19th Century

Above, John McCullough in costume as Virginius from Sheridan Knowles' play. It was a role he had inherited from Edwin Forrest.Below, Alexander Reinagle, in a miniature dated "1804" by the painter Robert Field in the collection of the Yale Univer…

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To accompany our conversation with Jonathan Shandell and Jerrell Henderson, here are some of the images from Federal Theatre Project archives relating to the shows that we discuss in the episode:Jericho (including rare production photographs of Casc…

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Above: Mary B. Robinson in 1994.Below: Jack Stehlin (Oberon), embraces Titania (Gloria Biegler) as the Fairies look on.  "A Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by Mary B. Robinson, was staged by the Philadelphia Drama Guild at the Zellerbach …

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Above is the Ida B Siddons Female Mastodons and Burlesque Company poster, described in the episode. After I posted the image on Twitter last year, the scholar Dr. Susan Kattwinkel replied and gave me some more information about it. Apparently t…

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Above, John A. Arneaux, in a photo printed in the pages of his privately published edition of Shakespeare's Historical Tragedy of Richard III: Adapted for Amateurs And the Drawing Room.  It is quite similar to the Edwin Booth acting version, bu…

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As additional information about John Arneaux, here is the sheet music for his song "Jumbo the Elephant King". It is in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington DC. (Arneaux appears to have written at least two other songs, "You Had Be…

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Above, Illustration of Edwin Booth as Richard, in an engraving published in Booth's own acting edition of the play in 1872. Edwin Booth first played the Academy of Music in the role of Richard III on August 24th 1863 . The productio…

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March 4, 2022

A Man of Mark

Since I refer to it so often in the episode, and because I call the veracity of its details into question during this episode, I thought it was only fair that I reproduce the entire chapter about John A. Arneaux in William Simmons' book Men of Mark:…

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Above, Below, a drawing made by Major John Andre, depicting a knight of the Mischianza. According to one source: "André sketched this knight of the Mischianza with his squire for the souvenir book he assembled for Peggy Chew. The picture is a…

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