Theatre on the American Frontier by Thomas A. Bogar

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For two centuries, nearly all historical accounts of American theatre have focused on New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. As a result, the story of theatre on the frontier consists primarily of regional studies with limited scope. Thomas A. Bogar’s Theatre on the American Frontier provides an overdue, balanced treatment of the accomplishments of the troupes working in the trans-Appalachian West.

From its origins in late eighteenth-century Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Louisville, frontier theatre grew by the close of the nineteenth century to encompass more than a dozen centers of vibrant theatrical activity. Audiences―mainly pioneers struggling with the hardships of establishing a life in the backcountry―enjoyed thrilling melodramas, the comedies of George Colman the Younger and John O’Keeffe, and even the tragedies of William Shakespeare. Theatre companies that ventured into this challenging and unfamiliar territory did so with a combination of daring and determination. Bogar’s comprehensive study brings this neglected history into the spotlight, cementing these figures and their theatrical productions and practices in their rightful place.

About the Author

Thomas A. Bogar is a former professor of theatre history at Hood College and the author of Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination: The Untold Story of the Actors and Stagehands at Ford’s Theatre and American Presidents Attend the Theatre: The Playgoing Experiences of Each Chief Executive, among other books.

Product Specifications

Published by LSU Press, 2023. Hardcover, 336 pages.