Case Studies

  • Odai Johnson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


Throughout the late summer and fall of 1749, a company of low-profile actors were quietly performing a word-of-mouth season of plays in Philadelphia without formal permission of the governor. Freemasons, moving among other Masons, the governor, the council, aldermen, merchants, and the most powerful men of the city, initiating a season of plays in their midst, perhaps even for them, one of whom contributed a playhouse, another contributed a prologue and played Portius.


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  1. 1.
    John Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Time (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott and Co., 1870), vol. I, 471.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Edward E De Lancey Chief Justice William Allen, Pennsylvania Magazine, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1877), 202–211Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carl Bridenbaugh and Jessica Bridenbaugh, Rebels and Gentlemen, Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), 189.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Paul Nelson, William Tryon and the Course of Empire (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), 33.Google Scholar
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    Peter Davis, “Puritan Mercantilism and the Politics of Antitheatrical Legislation in Colonial America,” in The American Stage: Social and Economic Issues from the Colonial Period to the Present (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    George Scull, ed., The Montresor Journals (New York: Collections of the New York Historical Society, 1881), 362.Google Scholar
  7. 22.
    Further discussion on the populist resistance to the Stamp Act is found in Gary Nash, The Urban Crucible (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), 184–199.Google Scholar
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    Joseph Ireland, Records of the New York Stage (New York: T. H. Morrell, 1867), vol. i, 40–41.Google Scholar

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© Odai Johnson 2006

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  • Odai Johnson

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