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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the years between 1737 and 1832 in Britain, when there were limitations on who could operate a theatre legally, a manager typically had more to do with the operations of the theatrical business than with ownership of theatrical properties or financing of theatrical operations based on personal investment. Though women in this period had limited—though variable—access to the financial resources needed to play the full range of entrepreneurial roles in theatre, many were involved in leadership roles in theatrical business. This chapter focuses on the stories of a few women who exemplify different paths to theatrical entrepreneurship, reveals how the conditions for theatrical entrepreneurship changed for women over the course of these years, and provides an opportunity to examine the history of theatrical management in Britain through a lens sensitive to gender.

Keywords: theatre managers, women, British provincial theatre, gender, Jane Scott, Eliza Vestris, Harriet Siddons, Sarah Baker. Frances Brooke, Mary Ann Yates

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