My photo
Welcome to Prospero's Blog! My wife Mollie and I work together in our Rough Magic studio on the coast of Maine. I've always loved old books, memorabilia, curiosities and Americana (especially 19th century dramatic literature) and am happy to share my discoveries in my Etsy Shops. Please come by and browse ~ there's just no telling what you'll find!

September 17, 2009

Plays by William Dean Howells, 19th Century American Writer

Looking for plays by William Dean Howells?

We have them for sale! We've just added a number of Howells' plays to our catalog of used and rare books. Some are first editions. They are from a private collection and are in very good condition.

Among them are The Register, The Elevator, The Garroters, The Sleeping Car, The Parlor Car, The Mouse Trap, Five O'Clock Tea, The Albany Depot and A Counterfeit Presentment.

Can't find what you're looking for? We have many plays and books that are not yet online.
Please contact us!  Email:

A Chronological Outline of World Theatre by Feedback Theatrebooks

Click here or on the image to view.

~ Where did the theatre really begin?  And what has happened to it over the past 4000 years?  For answers take a look at A Chronological Outline of World Theatre.
~ Clearly presented in outline form with succinct expository information, diagrams of major stages around the world and throughout history, and a complete index, A Chronological Outline of World Theatre is published by Feedback Theatrebooks, now celebrating our 25th year.
~ Long a treasured "crib" for students, A Chronological Outline Outline of World Theatre is also an excellent reference for anyone interested in the theatre.
For example:
What was happening in the rest of the world
when Shakespeare was writing in 16th century England?
  • In the Middle East there were religious parades and bazi (play) performed at Iranian courts.
  • These were the "Dark Ages in Indian Theatre".
  • Wayang gedog shadow puppets were introduced to Java.
  • China marked the rise of K'un ch'u drama.
  • O'Kuni brought a new dance to Japan.
  • The "Golden Age of Spanish Theatre" began.
  • French theatre, in transition, produced its "first professional playwright."
  • Two comedies were presented at a Spanish Mission in Tequista, Florida.
China celebrated its "Golden Age" during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). 
Elsewhere --
  • The meddahs, or storytellers, formed a guild in Baghdad.
  • Sanskrit drama had disappeared from India.
  • Dengaka guilds were well established in Japan.
  • In medieval Europe, theatre was only beginning -- with folk plays in France, puppet shows in Spain, street pageants in many places, and celebrations of the Feast of Corpus Christi.
A Chronological Outline of World Theatre is a "must have" for every reference library, every theatre teacher and student, everyone with a passion for the stage!

The Metropolitan Playhouse Stages Early and Classic American Plays

Live in or planning to visit New York City? 
Want to see a classic American play on stage?  
Click here to visit the Metropolitan Playhouse website and check out their season.

September 16, 2009

Racism in the Theatre - Bigotry and Prejudice on Stage

Here is a collection of plays from America's past.

These dramas express feelings that today's audiences cannot condone, or even comprehend, but that our ancestors understood -- in some cases all too well.
George Aiken's dramatization of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1952) gained instant acclaim as "the world's greatest hit!"

Dion Boucicault's The Octoroon (1859) drew audiences in both America and England for decades.

Less popular but earnest presentations of racial issues in America were J. T. Trowbridge's Neighbor Jackwood (1857), William Wells Brown's The Escape (1858) -- a stageworthy play by America's first black dramatist, and James McCabe's The Guerillas (1862), showing the Civil War from the Southern perspective.
By the early 20th century, views of African Americans had changed in the theatres -- or at least begun to change. In 1909 Edward Sheldon, that thoughtful dramatist who has never been adequately appreciated by historians) wrote his perceptive play with the title we cannot mention. Ironically, Ned Sheldon's play is forcefully pro-African American.
One critic, Clayton Hamilton, a professor at Columbia University, found himself unable to consider the play seriously. George Jean Nathan, an astute critic with a lasting reputation, called this play "one of the ten dramatic shocks of the century."

As the 20th century progressed and American society underwent even greater upheavals, dramatists edged into American race problems through folk drama. Paul Green's one-act White Dresses (1926) makes a poignant comment. Marc Connelly's The Green Pastures (1930) captured more audience attention -- by entertaining while avoiding issues.

A vital play of this period, Dubose Heyward's Brass Ankle (1931, also available among our rare books) with a title suggesting its pain, did not attract a large audience -- only 44 performances, but its anti-racism theme deserves attention. (Heyward, with his wife Dorothy, had been successful with Porgy a few years earlier.)

But in the theatre, which always pursues a single moment of excitement or sensation, entertainment value usually wins the day. Thoughtful appreciation and understanding frequently take years -- if not decades.

You won't find such a collection of American plays anywhere else -- so click here to visit us today!

September 15, 2009

More Vintage Theatre Books from Feedback Theatrebooks & Prospero Press

Here's another sampling from our website!
We've got lots more in our Etsy shop too!

So, if you love the American and world
theatre, old books, literature, memorabilia,
masks, puppets, the 19th century, vintage
postcards, cabinet photographs, all of the
above and more ~ give us a visit!

Feedback Theatrebooks Website:

Prospero's Bookshelf on Etsy:


Just can't get enough of these antique and vintage books?
Well hey, we've got lots more!

Click here to see them all! And here to see our entire online catalog!


September 14, 2009

Playwrights and Dramatists! How to Format Your New Play Script

ATTN: Playwrights, Dramatists, Teachers, Students!

Type your new play the way the professionals do ...
with ourxProfessional Playscript Format Guidelines & Sample~~

The one booklet that tells you all about it ~ and shows you how!

Everything you need to know to bring your new play to the top of the heap on every reader's desk:
Title Page
Character List
Setting Descriptions
Acts & Scenes
Page Numbers
Stage Directions

"Margin & Tab Setting Guide" and Script Sample included.

And it's only $17.95 + shipping!

Click here or on the imagexto order your copy today.
Then check out our Online Catalog:

September 13, 2009

Classic movies available on DVD from Caliban's Corner at Feedback Theatrebooks

Have you found Caliban's Corner? That's the online theatre gift shop tucked into a cozy corner of our main website at Feedback Theatrebooks & Prospero Press. In Caliban's Corner you're sure to find fascinating gifts for every theatre lover on your list -- and for yourself, too.

So come on over and browse!

Right now we're featuring a collection of new and gently used (viewed only once) classic movies on DVD -- some of them just right for Halloween!

In addition to the movies pictured, we have:

I Confess - Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter
As Young as You Feel - young Marilyn Monroe in a small role
Clue - Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn
Two Classic Mysteries -- The Shadow - International Crime & Mr. Moto's Last Warning
Mystery Classics (box set of 50 movies on 12 DVDs)
Coming Soon ... Our Town and many more!
Our collection also included a number of vintage TV favorites!
This is only the beginning -- so be sure to bookmark Caliban's Corner and check our blog again soon to see what's new!

Prospero's Bookshelf on Etsy - Vintage Books, Memorabilia, Americana, Curiosities

Prospero's Bookshelf on

  • Rare and Vintage Books
  • Old Photographs
  • Magazines
  • Postcards
  • Theater Programs
  • Americana
  • Memorabilia
  • Curiosities & Collectibles
  • Tarot Divining Cards
  • Paper Ephemera
  • Orientalia
  • Vintage Home Decor
  • And Much More!
Here are just a couple of the many collectible items available:

Be sure to visit our shop soon, as we're constantly adding new and interesting vintage items!
Need assistance? Email:

Controversial Play -- The Theatre of Neptune in New France

Look what we found!
The Theatre of Neptune in New France by Marc Lescarbot -- a rare and important book in the history of North American theater."

Click here for full details: The Theatre of Neptune in New France

This book is the first English translation of the earliest extant original play or masque performed in North America. Our copy is #248 of 450 copies of the original 1927 edition and is in very good condition. It includes twelve illustrations and Lescarbot's original French text, translated and introduced by Harriette Taber Richardson.

To purchase this book using PayPal, click here: Purchase Now! Your click will take you to our new Etsy Shop, ProsperosBookshelf, where this book is listed.

To see our catalog of Early American plays and anthologies, theatre histories, and rare theatre books, click here:  Feedback Theatrebooks

Have questions or need assistance? Please contact us:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...