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 …
From the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the end of the 19th Century, Philadelphia's experienced a boom in theater construction. New plays, musicals, operettas and vaudeville shows constantly cycled in and out of the city to fill these theaters.
John A. Arneaux plays "Richard III" at the Academy of Music, then mysteriously exits the American stage. His co-star, the actor Henri Strange, remains - and strives to create a Shakespeare theater for Philadelphia's Black audiences. The second half of …
John A. Arneaux starred in a one-night all-Black production of Richard III at Philadelphia's Academy of Music in January 1887. Who was he, where had he come from, and why had he chosen Philadelphia for this audacious feat?
Another Special Episode! Peter reads the chapter "Oh, It's a Lovely War: The Mischianza 1778" from Thomas H. Keels' 2010 book "Wicked Philadelphia: Sin in the City of Brotherly Love."
The story of one of America's most infamous - and influential - performance traditions, as it specifically relates to the history of theater in Philadelphia.
The famous 19th Century American tragic actress - and the 2Oth Century Philadelphia women who founded an organization in her honor.
A Special Episode for our listeners! Mike Lueger of "The Theatre History Podcast" interviews Dr. Christian DuComb about the history of Philadelphia Mummers Parade, the history behind the iconic annual Philadelphia event, and the 'Mummers Wench'.
What was Philadelphia to do, in an age when theater audiences were Running Riot? Why, of course! . . build them an Academy, and fill it with Grand Opera.
Bad behavior, bigotry and boorishness! Philadelphia's New Theatre on Chestnut Street, as well as being the premiere home for drama in America, could also be the site of riots, uproar - and cruelty.
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.
"Mrs. John Drew's Arch Street Theatre" was the most famous company in Philadelphia, during the period from 1862 to 1897. We even finally bring on the Barrymores! And we see her as Mrs. Malaprop.
Louisa Lane Drew's rise to fame and respectability. We chronicle her early years, long before she became the grandmother of All Them Barrymores.
Fanny Kemble, trapped in her new marriage, learns the stark truth about American slavery and how she herself has become implicated in its horrors. After a long struggle, she finally works her way back to moral clarity and and financial …
Fanny Kemble's performances would help to change the role of women on the American stage, and her stay in Philadelphia would have a transformative effect on her own life story, as well.
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.
Edwin Forrest builds the repertoire of new roles that would shape his career: Metamora, Spartacus, and Jack Cade.
This is an edited version of the interview with Peter Schmitz by Mike Lueger of "The Theatre History Podcast". In the interview, Peter tries to answer Mike's many excellent questions about this podcast, such as: "Why Philadel...
We follow Philadelphia's own great tragedian Edwin Forrest from birth, through his early years, to his initial success.
How Philadelphia'a many theater fires in the 1800s affect the physical environment of plays, even today.
Wars, fires, melodramas, circuses, balloons, and ice cream . . . as we complete our multi-episode exploration of Philadelphia Theater History in the period from 1793-1820.
George Frederick Cooke, one of the greatest actors of the English stage, came to Philadelphia in 1811. In a very real way, he's still here . . .
The hurricanes of World History blow a French equestrian circus company all the way to Philadelphia, and the Walnut Street Theatre is born.
Philadelphians ring in the New Year of 1800 with a spectacular staging of "Blue Beard, or Female Curiosity". Meanwhile, in the audience, other dramatic events are taking place!
How two paintings - of a Black oyster-seller and a group of Native Americans - give us insights in the early theater of Philadelphia.
A Triumph, an International Tour, a Fire, and a Final Exit.
John Bill Ricketts completes his 1793 season of shows in Philadelphia - just in time to avoid the Yellow Fever epidemic. But when Ricketts finally returns to the city, much later, he builds a new Circus and Art Pantheon
The influence of the English equestrian Phillip Astley, and how the equestrian circus was developing into an international form of popular entertainment in the late 18th Century.
How Philadelphia became the site of the First American Circus.
A broad overview of Philadelphia theater and its contribution to American drama - from the founding of Pennsylvania to the end of the 18th Century. William Penn's antipathy to all things theatrical is discussed, as well as th...
Why we're here, and what we're trying to do with our podcast. Peter tells the story of his own personal history, and how he started on the task of researching, exploring, and teaching the history of the theater in Philadelph...