Little Rock Look Back: First documented theatrical performance in Little Rock

On January 8, 1835, the Little Rock Town Council passed an ordinance granting the Society of Thalians a one year franchise to conduct performances in Little Rock.

That same day, the Thalians performed She Stoops to Conquer, Oliver Goldsmith’s 1773 comedy.

The following week, on January 17, they performed the comedy Ways and Means (by George Colman, Jr.) and David Garrick’s farce The Lying Valet.

The cost of the license to perform was $10 for the year. That would be the equivalent of $287 today. The ordinance also instructed the Town Constable to attend, by himself or a deputy, all theatrical performances to keep and preserve order.

There may well have been theatrical troupes come through Little Rock prior to January 1835, but records do not exist to any performances they may have given.  The performances by the Thalians are the first documented theatrical productions in Little Rock.

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