Virginia Woolf’s Only Play
Based on Woolf's own family, Freshwater was a tongue-in-cheek comedy full of inside jokes, written to entertain members of the Bloomsbury Group.
Temperance Melodrama on the Nineteenth-Century Stage
Produced by the master entertainer P. T. Barnum, a melodrama about the dangers of alcohol was the first show to run for a hundred performances in New York City.
The Reality Behind Kitchen Sink Realism
The gritty dramas of the 1950s and 1960s revealed the bitterness and disillusionment of Britain's working class youth.
The Living Newspaper Speaks
Scripted from front-page news, the Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspaper plays were part entertainment, part protest, and entirely educational.
Here We Are Again!—How Joseph Grimaldi Invented the Creepy Clown
Every limb of him had a language.
When Black Celebrities Wore Blackface
A Black Bohemia flourished in New York before the Harlem Renaissance and with it a new type of self-determined, contradictory Black celebrity.
How Terrence McNally Reimagined the Danse Macabre
The centerpiece of the prize-winning Love! Valor! Compassion! is a rehearsal for an affirming staging of Swan Lake—in drag.
Why Were There Still Stories of Blackface in 2019?
One of the minor themes of 2019 was the revelation that various prominent white politicians had once worn blackface. The question is: why?
Paper Theaters: The Home Entertainment of Yesteryear
In the nineteenth century, enterprising toymakers developed a novel way to bring theater into the home.
Who Really Wrote The G-String Murders?
Gypsy Rose Lee, the most famous burlesque star of the 1940s, wrote a series of letters published by Simon & Schuster that may prove her authorship.