Absence and Memory in Colonial American Theatre: Fiorelli’s by O. Johnson

By O. Johnson

History, they are saying, has a dirty tongue. relating to colonial theatre in the US, what we all know approximately functionality has come from the detractors of theatre and never its manufacturers. but this doesn't account for the flourishing theatrical circuit confirmed among 1760 and 1776. This learn explores the culture's social aid of the theatre.

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L We recognize it as the rapid gentrification, sometimes bewilderingly so (as in the case study of Albany, New York discussed 42 Absence and Memory below, with the sudden arrival of British soldiers): new manners, new money, no goods, new moralities, new social sensibilities. The playhouse, as a spectacle space, had no small part in the social realignment as pioneer settlers of the 1740s accommodated, resisted, or aspired to the new Georgian urbanity of the 1760s. Ultimately, to consider what a playhouse might have meant in such a transitional culture we need to look at the most barren geographic landscape that ever supported a playhouse.

One of his clients was the British military, who rented the space intermittently from 1775 to 1782. Recorded in the published receipts and disbursements for the years 1780-1781 are two noteworthy items: "Cash paid to Mr. Hugh Gaine, on Account ofRent-£50. "42 Gaine was using the rental of the playhouse to settling old debts. Douglass retained two additional theatres in Jamaica, in Kingston and in Spanish Town. After his death, his widow Mary Douglass remarried and sold the playhouse in Kingston.

Of York at the demise of John Stretch and Edward Charlton. 26 Hallam had washed his hands of the town, abandoned the playhouse, and did not return. Nor did the Hallam Company have permanent intentions in the colony of New York. Once permission was secured, Hallam raised a new playhouse-in a town that had seen at least three prior temporary playhouses-and his company played for a substantial season, performing three nights a week for six months. Yet at the conclusion, again he neither made plans to retain the building nor made plans to return to the city, though to their credit they did advertise to payoff their debts.

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