2/26 — Enacting Uncle Tom's Cabin (2)

  • Conway's Adaptation
        This version, originally performed in Boston and then brought by P. T. Barnum to New York, was never published, and no complete text of it exists. But this partial version, reconstructed from an 1870s promptbook, suggests how long before the "Tom Shows," Stowe's story could be made to perform as entertainment for white audiences.

  • Reviews & Notices
        To put both Conway's and Aiken's dramatizations back into the drama of American culture in the 1850s, I want you to read reviews and notices in the following sections: First New York Production; Conway Dramatization, Boston Museum; Aiken Dramatization, National Theatre, New York, 1853; Other Aiken Dramatizations; Barnum's Dramatization. It would be great if you could read all of them, but read and think about at least the pieces on this list:
      From First New York Production
          ["a serious & mischievous blunder"]
          A New Thing

      From Conway Dramatization, Boston Museum
          Uncle Tom's Cabin at a Boston Theatre
          ["a disgrace to Boston"]

      From Aiken Dramatization, National Theatre
          Spirit of the Times: 25 Notices
          "Uncle Tom" among the Bowery Boys
          "Uncle Tom" on the Stage
          A Great Change in a Short Time
          Abolition Dramatized
          [UTC at the National (1)]
          The Anti-Slavery Drama
          UTC and the Drama
          [A Visit to the National Theatre]
          UTC at the National [& in The Times
          "Satan Transformed"
          [UTC at 2 New York Theaters]

      From Other Aiken Dramatizations
          National Theatre, Philadelphia

      From Barnum's Dramatization
          Uncle Tom at Barnum's
          "Uncle Tom" at Barnum's
          "Uncle Tom" at Barnum's
          American Museum, New York

  • Playbills
        You've seen a couple of these already, but here are some more from the 1850s (of course, if you want to look at all the pre-1865 playbills, be my guest, but take a close look at at least the following ones, chosen to represent the variety of forms Stowe's story took on stage):
          Boston, 1852
          Boston Museum, 1852
          Ordways' Version, 1853
          Topsy Concert, 1853
          Minstrel Uncle Tom, 1853
          Jim Crow as Uncle Tom, 1854
          Philadelphia, 1854
          Happy Uncle Tom, 1854
          Minstrel Uncle Tom, 1854