The founding of Philadelphia's first major resident theater company: The Theatre of the Living Arts.
Could the first publicly funded and owned city theater in the country survive in the maelstrom of Philadelphia city politics?
An interview and audio tour of the historic Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, with the Walnut's Producing Artistic Director, Bernard Havard.
During the Great Depression years of the 1930s, some touring Broadway shows got into trouble in Philadelphia. "The People's Mayor" S. Davis Wilson had his limits when it came to what he would allow in the city's theaters.
In the 1920s, Philadelphia theater censorship controversies were usually about what women were wearing - or rather were NOT wearing - on the city's stages.
In 1911, actress Sarah Bernhardt's production of La Samaritaine met with fervent opposition from Philadelphia clergymen. In 1912, a production of 'Playboy of the Western World' caused an audience riot!
The last installment of the saga of Oscar Hammerstein in the "Opera Wars" - and the story of the grand Philadelphia theater he left behind.
February 1909: The opera "Salome" at Oscar Hammerstein's new Philadelphia Opera House needed to be stopped, as a matter of public decency, declared hundreds of clergymen and civic leaders.
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 a great story!
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 ...
Seven short and light vignettes from the history of Philadelphia Theater - all of which took place in the city during the Holidays, from various theatrical seasons over the past 150 years. A gift to all of you listeners and …
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 …
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 …
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 Century.
The mob is gathering in the street outside the Chestnut Street Theatre, while inside the rehearsals for the scandalous play The Quaker City go on! Will it all end in a deadly riot? The suspense is building . .
George Lippard's novel "The Quaker City, or the Monks of Monk Hall" is made into a new play. The excitement about it builds in Philadelphia, just as the national election of 1844 roils the city.
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 …
A quick announcement about our upcoming season of new episodes . . . Spoiler Alert: There will be lots of drama. And conflict!
In this Special Summer Episode, Peter interviews theater historian Barry Witham about his 2013 book "A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter at Hedgerow," and then we bring listeners along on a guided tour of Hedgerow Theatre campus in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania.
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 live...
Special Episode: Peter reads a chapter about Philadelphia's most famous acting family, from Wicked Philadelphia, a book by Thomas H. Keels. Like the ghost of Hamlet's father, John Barrymore wouldn't stay still and kept showing up!
Six more stories of 19th C. Philadelphia theater: Alexander Reinagle, Joseph Jefferson III, James Murdoch, Matilda Heron, John McCullough - as well as two stagehands at the Walnut Street Theatre you likely never heard of before, but may never forget!
A Special interview with scholar Jonathan Shandell and director Jerrell Henderson.
Special Episode. Mary Robinson sat down for a talk with Peter to discuss her 4 1/2 year tenure at the Philadelphia Drama Guild in the 1990s. We also talked about the many shows she subsequently directed at the Philadelphia Theatre …