Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76 by Oliver Bell Bunce


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Representative Plays by American
Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76, by Oliver Bell Bunce

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76
An Incident of the Revolution

Author: Oliver Bell Bunce

Release Date: April 1, 2005 [EBook #15519]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by S.R.Ellison, David Starner, and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.



[Illustration: OLIVER BELL BUNCE]



The name of Oliver Bell Bunce is not prominently connected with the
American Theatre. Authorities have taken little or no trouble to
unearth his association with the plays and players of his time--the
mid-period of the nineteenth century. Yet they all agree that, as
illustration of "parlour comedy," his "Love in '76" is a satisfactory
example of sprightliness and fresh inventiveness. For this reason, the
small comedietta is included in the present collection. It challenges
comparison with Royall Tyler's "The Contrast" for manner, and its
volatile spirit involved in the acting the good services of such
estimable players as Laura Keene, Stoddart, and Ringgold. In the
cast also was J.G. Burnett, author of "Blanche of Brandywine," a
dramatization of a novel by George Lippard, also produced by Laura

York, on February 28, 1857, for the benefit of the Shirt Sewers'
Union; and was the second offering of a double bill beginning with
"Faust and Marguerite." Though the critiques of the time recognized
in it a "nice little play," they balked at what was considered to be
a foolish nomenclature, "Comedietta." What was liked about it,
particularly, was the absence of patriotic fustian, for the national
drama of the time seems to have been loaded down with long flights
of fancy on the subject of liberty. Others hailed it as smart in the
social sense. As late as March 31, 1892, the little play was revived
by amateurs for the benefit of a monument to be erected over the
neglected grave of Washington's mother.

This was not the first time Bunce had appeared as a playwright. There
had been seen, on June 10, 1850, at the New York Bowery Theatre, a
tragedy entitled "Marco Bozzaris; or, The Grecian Hero," and in the
cast were J. Wallack, Jr., and his wife, together with John Gilbert.
It was not based on the poem by Fitz-Greene Halleck, but, for its
colour and plot, Bunce went direct to history. For Wallack he also
wrote a tragedy, entitled "Fate; or, The Prophecy," and, according
to Hutton, during the summer of 1848, the Denin Sisters produced his
"Morning of Life," at the New York Chatham Theatre.

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