A Note on British Military Theatre in New York at the End of the American Revolution

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In early 1777, soon after the British military occupation of New York City began, a series of theatrical performances was inaugurated at the "Theatre Royal," a structure which had been built ten years earlier by the American Company of Comedians, and had been known as the John Street Theatre. These performances, sponsored by the British, were designed to provide amusement for officers of the British army and navy, whose winters were spent in relative ease and comfort preparatory to resuming battle against the Americans when warm weather returned. British officers played most of the major roles at the Theatre Royal, with civilians—most of whom were paid for their services—playing female roles, minor male roles, and assuming other theatrical functions.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalNew York History
StatePublished - Apr 1981


  • Early American Theater
  • British History
  • British Military
  • Theater History


  • Theater and Performance Studies
  • Theater History

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