Civil War Institute
Central to American nineteenth century life was the theater. As the fratricidal fighting of the American Civil War broke out and divided the nation, this centrality remained, and audiences crowded into the theaters. For both north and south, the theater provided an outlet through which Americans could enjoy plays, performances, music, and variety shows that appealed to all social classes of American society. However, in order to understand the operations of theater companies during the war itself, it is first essential to examine the state of the theater as a concept during the mid-nineteenth century, and in the pre-war years. [excerpt]
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Merlina, Valerie N., "Theatre of War: a witness to love, tragedy, and parody" (2014). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 25.