Category Archives: Twentieth Century

Today in Theatre History: BEFORE POOH, MILNE HIT THE DOVER ROAD–December 23, 1921

On this day in theatre history–December 23, 1921–the author of Winnie-the-Pooh, the great A. A. Milne, saw the opening of his first major success on the Broadway stage, a lighthearted romp called The Dover Road.  Despite the popularity of the Pooh … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: WHY ACTING WITH ANIMALS IS A BAD IDEA–December 22, 1907

On this day in theatre history, during a performance of the melodramatic spectacle, Daniel Boone, in the opera house in Rome, Georgia, two actors were injured when attacked by a real wolf that was on stage playing the part of … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: PAUL ROBESON AS OTHELLO–August 10, 1942

On this day in theatre history (August 10, 1942) one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, Paul Robeson, first performed what would eventually be recognized as among the greatest roles of his career:  Othell0.  Directed by the legendary … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: WHITE RATS ON STRIKE!–February 22, 1901

On this day in theatre history (February 22) in 1901, a group of American vaudeville performers, fed up with the Keith-Albee conglomerate, staged a strike against the Vaudeville Managers Association (VMA)–which Keith-Albee controlled.  Their key complaint was the 5% fee … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: AMERICA’S GREATEST DRAG QUEEN HITS BROADWAY–September 19, 1904

It was on this day–September 19–in 1904 that America’s greatest and most popular drag queen, Julian Eltinge, starred in his first Broadway musical.  Despite a selection of songs by a 19 year-old Jerome Kern, the production of Mr. Wix of Wickham was a flop, … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: THEATRES CLOSE, THEATRES REOPEN; DOUR PURITANS VERSUS HAPPY STRIKERS, 277 YEARS APART–September 6

It was on this day in theatre history — September 6 — that theatre experienced both a major closing and a major reopening, some 277 years apart. The major closing was the banning of theatre at the start of the … Continue reading

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Today in Theatre History: ANCIENT ROMAN COMEDY FINALLY CLOSES ON BROADWAY AFTER 2150 YEARS–August 29, 1964

On this day in 1964–August 29–an adaptation of a work by the ancient Roman playwright, Plautus, finally closed after a successful run on Broadway, some 2150 years after it first premiered in Rome.  Admittedly, there was a substantial break in … Continue reading

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