Synopses from Various Playbills

By 1853 four different dramatizations of Stowe's story had been performed in
New York City alone. Only one of these -- Aiken's -- was ever published.

Aiken's version was the basic text for most of the thousands of productions that were
staged after the Civil War, but these "Tom Shows" continually varied the script.

The best guides to these variations are the "synopses" that were often included in
the playbills and programs the troupes used to advertise or promote the shows.

The excerpts on this page are from six different playbills, dated 1852
to about 1920, arranged in chronological order.

The playbills themselves can be viewed in the IMAGES section.
You can see and search fifteen synopses by clicking on the link below.

  • Return to sitemap. Return to homepage for this section. Search this section or the whole site.