Revolutionary Era 1754-1783: Arts Research Article from American Eras

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Despite continuing hostility to the stage, one itinerant group—The American Company of Comedians—brought the first professional theater to the colonies, monopolizing a modest audience for hundreds of productions throughout the 1760s and the early 1770s. They typically performed plays that were popular in London; the most popular playwright was William Shakespeare, whose work (especially Romeo and Juliet) was performed from 180 to 500 times. To attract a reputable audience, or at least diffuse criticism, the American Company often advertised its plays as "moral dialogues" and printed testimonials to its "genteel" actors in newspapers.

The Prince of Parthia.After opening a new theater in Philadelphia in 1766, the company produced the first American play to be professionally performed in the colonies. The Prince of Parthia was a five-act tragedy first written in 1759 that was loosely based on an episode of classical history. Its author, Thomas Godfrey...

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This section contains 527 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Revolutionary Era 1754-1783: Arts Encyclopedia Article
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American Eras
Revolutionary Era 1754-1783: Arts from American Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.