In the case of colonial theater in America, much of what we know about performance has come from the detractors of theater and not its producers: anti-theatrical legislation, sermons, petitions, and prohibitions against the theater, all of which have resulted in a history told as a contest of Puritan and Player. Yet such a narrative hardly accounts for the flourishing theatrical circuit established between 1760 and 1776 (nineteen theatres in seven colonies and the Anglophone Caribbean). This study explores the culture's social support of the theater in the material evidence it left behind as well as the immaterial evidence: the culture's memory of theater, and its enormous desire for it.
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