Albert and Shirley Small Speial Collections Library
actors graphicCreating America's Theatre
actors graphic
Introduction to the Exhibit
Early American Theatre
A Novel Idea
Setting the Modern Stage
A Voice of Their Own
Picks and Pans
Playbills and Programs
Regional Theatre in Virginia

In the Brilliancy of the Footlights: Creating America’s Theatre


“Out in the brilliancy of the footlights — filling the attention of perhaps a crowded audience, and making many a breath and pulse swell and rise — O’ so much passion and imparted life!”

--Walt Whitman, Memoranda


This exhibition celebrates the American stage—our playwrights, their plays, and that creative talent which transforms words into living theatre. A testament to our cultural heritage, the items assembled here capture the excitement and dynamism of more than two centuries of American theatre history. They take us simultaneously behind the scenes and into the limelight.


Curated by Margaret Downs Hrabe
University of Virginia Library

Introductory essay by John W.Frick
Associate Professor, Department of Drama,
University of Virginia


Albert H. and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia
PO Box 400110
Charlottesville, VA 22903-4110
ph: 434.924.3025  |  fax: 434.924.3143
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