ANONYMOUS PRINTER, Broadsides for the Haymarket Theatre, 1796–1803

ANONYMOUS PRINTER, Broadside for the Haymarket Theatre, 1796–1803 

For a few seasons starting in December of 1796, the Haymarket Theatre—housed in a large wooden structure located at the intersection of what are now Tremont and Boylston streets— competed with the older and more opulent Federal Street Theatre. Supported by less affluent merchants, professionals, and mechanics, the Haymarket catered to the taste of Boston’s rising middle class. At times the Haymarket engaged the practices of the Federal Street Theatre directly, as when it mocked William Charles White’s Orlando; or, Parental Persecution with a parody called Chrononhotonthologos: King of Queermania, and announced that it would be “the most tragical tragedy that ever was tragidized.” Unable to sustain full seasons, the Haymarket first became a venue for summer performances and later, in the spring of 1803, was sold off and torn down.

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society