Collections of Distinction

Boston Theater

Location: Rare Books Department


Theatrical program for 'The Medal and the Maid' The Boston Theater Collection is the only comprehensive history of Boston theater in the city. It documents the administrative, financial, and performance histories of five Boston theaters from 1794–2003. These theaters are the Federal Street Theatre (1793–1852), the first independent theater in Boston; the Tremont Theatre (1839–1843); the Boston Theatre and Opera House (1852–1856); the Charles Playhouse (1958–2003), the city’s only regional theater; and the Triangle Theater (1980–1988), a gay and lesbian theater.

The collection contains programs, playbills, reviews, production material, costume and set designs, and trustees’ meeting minutes, as well as blueprints and construction and site plans.

The William B. Jackson, Jr. Theater Collection: Colonial Theater, 1920s–1950s, is also included and contains programs, playbills, and clippings for virtually every theater in Boston operating from the 1920s through the 1950s, while the Tremont Theater and Boston Theater and Opera House Collections provide insights into the daily operations and legal matters of the theaters. The collection also acts as a record for local businesses who were involved with the theater industry.

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