William H. Smith

(1806—1872) writer and philosopher

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(1806–72) English and American actor, manager, and playwright. Smith came to the United States in 1827, acted in Philadelphia and Boston, and managed the stage company of the Boston Museum in the 1840s. He attracted Bostonians of all classes to the theatre with a mix of Shakespeare, melodrama, and sentimental comedy, featuring guest stars such as Edwin Booth, Fanny Davenport, and George Vandenhoff. Smith scored a major success with his temperance melodrama The Drunkard at the Boston Museum in 1844. After its 100-night initial run, it drew crowds wherever it played and was performed continually into the twentieth century.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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