Adventures in Theater History: Philadelphia

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Philadelphia's premiere theater company rings in the New Year of 1800 with their production of the spectacular Romance entitled "Blue Beard, or Female Curiosity". Meanwhile, in the audience, there are other dramatic events taking place! Join us on this Adventure in Theater History, as we take a snapshot of early American theater on the cusp of the 19th Century.To see a full blog entry about this episode, including more illustrations, explanations, and a selected bibliography of source material, go to  /blog/episode-8-new-years-day-at-the-new-theatre-1800/If you enjoy the episode, please rate and review our show on Apple Podcasts: can follow us on Twitter: our Facebook page: if you visit our Patreon site, there is even more info about Philly Theater History. We hope you will consider making a donation, or becoming a supporting member, so that we can keep bringing these episodes to you. Thank you!Support the show (
An examination of two works by artist John Lewis Krimmel, as they relate to the history of theater and public performance in early 19th Century Philadelphia. The first image can be found online at: "Nightlife in Philadelphia—an Oyster Barrow in front of the Chestnut Street Theater", Metropolitan Museum of Art Collections. second image can be found online at: "Exhibition of Indian Tribal Ceremonies at the Olympic Theater, Philadelphia, 1811–ca. 1813", Metropolitan Museum of Art Collections: you can see both these images, and also copies of the historic Philadelphia newspaper ads about the Native Americans dances at the New Theatre in 1802 and the Olympic Theatre in 1812 in the website blog for the podcast:  /blog/two-paintings-at-the-met/If you like the show, leave a Review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show (
The final installment of our story about John Bill Ricketts, with more adventures about his equestrian circus and theatrical troupe. We meet the American comedian and dancer John Durang, and Ricketts has his portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart. The Circus and Art Pantheon  becomes a major fixture of Philadelphia's social scene in the transition from the Washington to the Adams Administration. But troubles begin to mount as Ricketts's shows get increasingly elaborate with special effects like onstage volcanoes - and fire and wooden buildings are not a good combination . . .(Portait of Ricketts from the collection of the National Gallery, Washington, DC. For more illustrations and information, see the episode blog post on our website: /blog/episode-6-ricketts-circus-in-the-capital-city-part-four/If you like what you're hearing, please support our show! Support the show (
The third in our four-part Adventure about John Bill Ricketts and his circus in Philadelphia, the temporary capital city of the new nation. In this episode, Ricketts completes his 1793 season of shows in Philadelphia - and gets out of town just in time to avoid the fate that met so many of Philadelphia's citizens that year. When Ricketts finally returns to the city much later, he builds a new Art Pantheon right where the political leadership of the United States can easily find him - right across the street. The management of the Chestnut Street Theatre is not pleased with their new neighbor, however.(Image courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania)Blog post: /blog/episode-5-ricketts-circus-and-art-pantheon/To become a supporter of the show, go to AITHpodcast@patreon.comSupport the show (
The second of our four-part Adventure about John Bill Ricketts, the equestrian and showman, famous for being the originator of the American Circus. In this episode, we look at the influence of the English equestrian Phillip Astley, and how the equestrian circus was developing into an international form of popular entertainment in the late 18th Century.(Image: copyright of the Trustees of the British Museum, used by permission)Blog post: "Phillip Astley"/blog/episode-4-phillip-astley/To become a supporter the show, go to: AITHpodcast@patreon.comSupport the show (
This is first section of our first deep dive, the initial Adventure in Theater History that the title of the show promises. John Bill Ricketts, the English Equestrian arrives in Philadelphia, and attracts the attention of a Very Important Person. How did Philadelphia become the site of the First American Circus? Listen in and find out?(Image courtesy of the British Museum)Blog post: "Ricketts' Circus"/blog/episode-3-ricketts-circus/Support the show ( the show (
In this episode, we do a broad overview of Philadelphia theater and its contribution to American drama - from the founding of Pennsylvania to the end of the 18th Century.William Penn's antipathy to all things theatrical is discussed, as well as the continuing effects of Quakerism's distrust of the performing arts during most of this period. But as Colonial America began to change, and as the United States became a country, this prejudice shifts, and Philadelphia becomes home to the premier dramatic company in the new nation.(Image courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia)See TWO blog posts for this episode on the website!"Did William Penn Ever See a Play?"/blog/episode-2-did-william-penn-ever-see-a-play/"Plumstead's Warehouse and the Southwark Theatre"/blog/episode-2-images-of-plumsteads-warehouse-and-the-southwark-theatre-in-philadelphai/Support the show ( the show (
This is the Introduction to entire Adventures in Theater History podcast. In this episode, we explain why we're here, and what we're trying to do with this method of historical storytelling.  Peter tells the story of his own personal history, and how he started on the task of researching, exploring, and teaching the history of the theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The matter of spelling the word "theater" (as opposed to "theatre") is explained, and the complexities and attractions and challenges of the Philadelphia's history is addressed. We also learn about the creators' credentials: Peter is a Know-it-All Smartypants, and Chris is an Award-Winning Composer and Sound Designer.For a blog post about this episode,  visit: the show! the show (
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Podcast Details

Podcast Status
Mar 22nd, 2021
Latest Episode
Apr 30th, 2021
Release Period
2 per month
Avg. Episode Length
29 minutes

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