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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The inside of a well-lit theatre was as close to London as many eighteenth-century provincials ever got. In this regard the theatre in colonial America was ‘London in a Box’, and David Douglass, the manager of the American Company, was a purveyor of European taste, fashionable manners, and gentility. Though colonists were in the backwoods and provinces, to go to the theatre was to be a little closer to London, and this desire largely explains why we see theatres all over the colonial American landscape, from Halifax, North Carolina, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in towns that could not support or afford the luxury. The theatre in America became a poor man’s finishing school for the socially mobile, even in villages where the roof of mobility was set rather low.

Keywords: colonial America, provincial theatre, David Douglass, refinement, George Washington, Barbados, importation, urbanity

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