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Research & How To > Leisure & Pastimes > Theatre

Theatre and Drama:


John Wilkes, Edwin and Junius Brutus
Booth, Jr in benefit performance
of Julius Caesar, New York ,
October 1864

Just as those reading this website have undoubtely heard of celebrities like Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep, famous actors such as the Booth brothers, Laura Keene, Pauline Cushman, Joseph Jefferson, Charlotte Cushman and actor-playwright Dion Boucicault would have been part of the average person's frame of reference during the Civil War.

The melodramas of a generation earlier, of August Friedrich von Kotzebue and Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt, and the continuing melodramatic tradition of such writers as Dion Boucicault in the mid 19th century, were as much if not more a part of the popular culture than the classical tragedies, histories and comedies of Shakespeare, but are little known today.

"Men talk of killing time, while time
quietly kills them."
-- Dion Boucicault

Articles / Resources On Other Sites, By Topic:

General 19th Century Theatre Resources:

Individual Actors and Actresses:

Typical Publicity Photographs of Actors in Costume

Theatres of the Era: 

Playwrights, Directors & Impresarios:

Texts of Period Plays Online: