Reactions to the Theatre: Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, 1665-1793

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




A. Leland Jamison


American colonies, New World, Theater history, Religious reaction

Subject Categories

Religion | Theatre and Performance Studies


This dissertation surveys what occurred when men who wanted the cultural and economic experiences of the theatre in America were opposed in their attempts to establish it by conscientious institutions, groups and individual men who felt that theatre should be prohibited in the New World. This dissertations deals with the reaction to the possibility of the establishment of theatre in the colonies, as well as the plays performed in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. It does not aim to include the plays, persons, and theatres which have played an important part in our national theatre history. The section dealing with Virginia, however, has more material of this sort as the reaction in the cavalier colony was more uniformly positive. Its primary aim is to synthesize the different reactions on both sides as I have found it expressed in their contemporary accounts. In support of this contemporary material related sources in the history of the theater as well as American Colonial history have also been utilized.


Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance.