Contents List of Illustrations Prologue: America's Oldest Theatre 1 The Beginnings of Theatre in Philadelphia, 1682-1809 2 Circus and Spectacle at the Walnut Street Theatre, 1809-1820 3 The Era of the English Star, 1820-1829 4 The Walnut in the Age of Jackson, 1829-1840 5 The Marshall Era, 1840-1849 6 Respectability, 1849-1860 7 The Civil War Years, 1860-1867 8 The Last Years of Stock, 1867-1879 9 A Combination House, 1879-1895 10 The Syndicate Years, 1896-1920 11 Boom and Bust, 1920-1940 12 A Tryout House, 1941-1954 13 The Shuberts in Decline, 1954-1969 14 Performing Arts Center, 1969-1982 15 A Subscription House, 1982-1999 16 The State Theatre of Pennsylvania, 2000 and Beyond Notes Bibliography Index
Andrew Davis is a specialist in the American popular theatre. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University and teaches at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
"Davis describes the remarkable growth and development of the Walnut over the past several decades. This narrative is among the book's most useful contributions to the institution's history. Another important feature of Davis's chronicle may be found in the way that it documents the central role of the nondramatic in the various activities that took place in and around nineteenth-century American playhouses. "America's Longest Run provides a rare opportunity to survey the development of an important American institution that has borne witness to much of the nation's history. "Davis's work will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of Philadelphia or the American theatre." --Aaron Tobiason, Pennsylvania History "The book is beautifully produced with a lush, velvet cover that sits as comfortably in one's hands as, no doubt, patrons sit in the theatre's lush seats. Readers throughout the country will enjoy this book; although it is a case study of only one significant theatre, it is a comprehensive, fascinating introduction to American culture and society as depicted through the history of its entertainments." --Marti LoMonaco, Broadside