Date of Award
The purpose of-this study was to discover (1) the amount of theatrical activity in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the nineteenth century; (2) the nature of the activity; (3) the names of productions and of persons - connected with the production; and (4) the development of the theatre in Baton Rouge as compared with that of other Southern towns. The main source of Information was the newspapers of the period. The earliest available papers were for 1819 so that date was taken as the starting point of the study. The study was terminated at 1900 partly because it marked the turn of the century but chiefly because a new theatre was built at that time which marked a new era in the theatrical history of Baton Rouge. The study may be summarized as follows: (1) in 1821 the first stock company appeared; (2) for some years after that time theatrical activity consisted largely of readings, recitations, and concerts; (3) in 1835 the first showboat visited the town; (4) in 1841, the first amateur organization was formed; (5) in 1847 the first minstrel company appeared; (6) during the Civil War the theatre flourished under the sponsorship first of the Confederate troops, then under the Union forces after the occupation of the town In 1862; (7) in 1865 Pike's Hall, the theatre which was to be the center of theatrical activity until 1900, was constructed; (8) during its thirty-five years of existence once Pike's Hall played host to many theatrical companies which grew from small repertory companies to large companies playing spectacular productions of one performance each.
Varnado, Alban Fordesh, "A History of Theatrical Activity in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1819-1900" (1947). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 8350.