Early American Theatre


First Play Printed

01/1714 - 12/1714

Robert Hunter's "Androboros" is the first play known to be printed in America

First Theatre in America

01/1716 - 12/1716

The first known theatre in America is built in Williamsburg

First Theatre in NY

01/1732 - 12/1732

The first known theatre in New York is built.

First Theatre in South

01/1736 - 12/1736

The first known theatre in the South is built in South Carolina

Richard III Performed

01/1750 - 12/1750

Thomas Keon performs at Richard III in New York

Lewis Hallam

01/1752 - 12/1752

Lewis Hallam's troupe arrives from England and performs "Merchant of Venice" in Williamsburg.

First Professional Company

01/1767 - 12/1767

Lewis Hallam Jr founds the "American Company" and they perform "The Prince of Parthia"

American Revolutionary War

01/1775 - 12/1785

Theatre was practically nonexistant during the War for American Independance

Oldest Theatre built

01/1809 - 12/1809

The Walnut St. Theatre, the oldest theatre still in operation is built in Philidelphia

First Gas Lighting

01/1816 - 12/1816

The first gas lighting system is installed in the Chestnut St. Theatre in Philidelphia.

Famous Theatre Criticism

01/1824 - 12/1824

Yale's President Dwight states famously: "To indulge in playgoing means nothing more or less than the loss of the most valuable treasure, the immortal soul."

Astor Place Riots

05/1849 - 06/1849

Violence breaks out between fans of two rival actors performing the same role and supporting opposing political views.