19th-century Theater Round-up

Monday morning we’re wrapping up the opening unit of our Writing New York lecture, which starts us off with the early New York stage. From last week’s discussion of Royall Tyler’s The Contrast in the post-Revolutionary city, we’ll turn to the...

The contrasts in The Contrast

We’ve written here before about Royall Tyler’s 1787 play The Contrast, which was the first American play to be professionally staged. Set in Manhattan following the Revolution, the play takes Sheridan’s comedies of manners as a model for its send-up...

Preserving and mourning downtown

Notice of two events TONIGHT of interest to downtown cultural historians: First, at the Ottendorfer Library (135 Seconds Ave.), a panel on preservation efforts on the Lower East Side, sponsored by the Lower East Side History Project. 6 pm. Second, at Judson Memorial...

Maggie at the Theater

We spent quite a bit of time on this passage from Stephen Crane’s Maggie in lecture on Wednesday:Evenings during the week [Pete] took [Maggie] to see plays in which the brain-clutching heroine was rescued from the palatial home of her guardian, who is cruelly...

City on Stage

There’s a famous anecdote about the first appearance of Mose the Bowery B’hoy on the New York stage. Played by neighborhood boy Frank Chanfrau, Mose, the fireman-butcher, makes his entrance in Benjamin Baker’s 1848 farce A Glance at New York by...