Apologies to those receiving more than one announcement.
On Tuesday, March 28, 1995, the Center for Research on Vermont will
sponsor a research-in-progress seminar, "Banned in New England:
Early Theatrical Regulation," by University of Vermont Professor of
Theatre George B. Bryan. The seminar will begin at 7:30 P.M., in
Memorial Lounge on the main floor of the Waterman Building at the
University of Vermont.
More information follows.
The professional theatre has never been free from legal restraint,
not even in the English colonies in North America that were
established in the name of freedom. The settlements in New England
were particularly inimical to theatrical activities, far more than
their neighbors to the south--with the exception of Pennsylvania. The
phrase "banned in Boston" has become proverbial, but "banned in New
England" is even more descriptive of the theatre's plight. The
anti-theatrical clique initially depended upon English theatrical
enactments as precedents to squelch theatrical development, but when
the English statutes proved too lenient, the colonists, and later the
state legislatures, passed even more restrictive laws.
Massachusetts, of course, showed the way, but Connecticut, Rhode
Island, Maine, and Vermont followed, and sometimes surpassed, the
leader in their attempts to suppress the theatre. In Vermont, for
example, the theatre was outlawed from 1836 to 1882. In this
presentation, Dr. Bryan describes the ultimate success of the
theatre in New England as it struggled for its very existence from
1621 to about 1900.
George B. Bryan, professor of theatre at the University of Vermont
and a two-term director of the Center for Research on Vermont, has
been a champion of regional studies in theatre history. In addition
to numerous articles, he is the author of _Stage Lives: An Index to
Theatrical Biographies in English_ (1985) and _Stage Deaths: An Index
to International Theatrical Obituaries, 1850 to 1990_ (1991), both
of which contain material relevant to theatre in Vermont. Bryan's _A
Historical Who's Who of Vermont Theatre_ (Occasional Paper #13),
published by the Center for Research on Vermont in 1991, contains an
historical essay on the theatre in Vermont. His interest in the
theatre and the law merged in his _American Theatrical Legislation
The Center for Research on Vermont periodically sponsors
Research-in-Progress Seminars about Vermont topics of interest. The
seminars, which are free and open to the public, provide researchers
with the opportunity to exchange preliminary findings across
disciplinary lines. Dr. Bryan's presentation is the 100th
Research-in-Progress Seminar sponsored by the Center since it was
founded 20 years ago.