Theater in an Industrial age

  • Old Price Riots

    Old Price Riots
    The Old Price, often called the O.P riots, were a series of violent protests that took place at Covent Garden because of a mixture of rising prices and classist policies within the theater. The riots began on the opening night during a play of Macbeth, and ended with over 20 dead(Saville et al.)
  • Period: to

    Rapid theater expansion

    During the 1800s, theater exploded in popularity for a number of reasons, several of which have been listed as events in this very presentation. In 1807 there were only 10 theaters in London, by 1870 there were 30 theaters operating solely in London.(Bratton,
  • The Well-Made play

    The Well-Made play
    In 1825, Eugene Scribe created the form of the well-made play, well-made plays are characterized by artificial and complex plots, a happy ending and frequent misunderstandings. (Encyclopædia Britannica, well-made play) A notable play using this form is All My Sons(1946) by Arthur Miller, which shows how far reaching this type of play can be, seeing as the formula lasted long enough to be relevant in 1946.
  • Limelight is introduced

    Limelight is introduced
    Before limelight, theaters and performances were often lit solely by lamplight. In 1837, chemical lighting made its debut and allowed theaters to dramatize their lighting to a greater extent. This also made lighting much more flexible, giving theaters much more variety in productions. (Schiller A brief history of entertainment lighting sources –)
  • Theatres Act Passed

    Theatres Act Passed
    1843, the Theatres Act removed the patent monopoly and restricted The Lord Chamberlain's power over theaters. Before this act was passed, the Lord Chamberlain had the ability to modify, censor or deny the performance of plays without giving a reason. He could also prosecute theater owners if they opted to show a play he disliked. The Theatres Act removed this power from him, instead requiring very specific reasoning to do so.(Encyclopædia Britannica)
  • Period: to

    Civil War

    The Civil War began, but most theaters remained open. Touring between theaters was heavily restricted in the north and banned in the south, after the end of the war few southern theaters thrived when compared to northern theaters. In the north, Uncle Tom's Cabin became an extremely popular performance. (Essay: 19th Century American theater)
  • The first Naturalistic play

    The first Naturalistic play
    Naturalism was inspired by Charles Darwin's observation of natural selection, and called for a more realistic depiction of life, including realistic locations and consequences. The first naturalist play was written by Emile Zola, titled Thérèse Raquin.(Encyclopædia Britannica)
  • Problem plays begin to emerge

    Problem plays begin to emerge
    Problem plays are plays that speak up about social injustices, often discussing prostitution, women's liberty and race. One of the first problem plays was A Doll's House, released in 1879. Problem plays were extremely important for putting social issues at the forefront of the mind of the audience.(Encyclopædia Britannica)
  • Electric Light in the Theater

    Electric Light in the Theater
    Thomas Edison's most famous creation was introduced into the theater in 1883, which changed not just stage lighting, but the way we do stage direction and scenic design, allowing for much more flexible and dramatic lighting while also not being dependent on limelight and oil lamps.(Schiller. A brief history of entertainment lighting sources –)
  • The Theatre Syndicate is founded

    The Theatre Syndicate is founded
    As theater becomes more and more popular across America, a select few individuals begin to monopolize the industry. This eventually turned into the Theatre Syndicate, a group of six theater owners who owned almost every theater in the United States. ( Encyclopædia Britannica, Theatrical syndicate)