Theatre in New York City:

A Brief History

by John Kenrick

(Copyright 2003-05)

The Bowery TheatreAn early depiction of The Bowery, the first US theatre to remain in use for more than a century.

Musicals, Broadway and New York City . . . they are forever linked, helping to define each other. How did a rough Dutch frontier trading post (where stage performances were forbidden) develop into the theatrical capital of the world?

These essays offer a basic outline of the events that made theatre an ongoing part of life in New York City, and tell the story of how an avenue called Broadway became "The Great White Way."

Part I: 1700 to 1849

Part II: 1849 to 1865

Part III: 1865 to 1900

Part IV: 1900 to the Present

Go to: Suggested Readings & Links

Photo Exhibit: Broadway Then & Now

Related Feature: NY Theatres: Past and Present - profiles of more than 140 historic venues

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