1768.016: Playbill, May 27, 1768.
Full Title: [By permission of the worshipful the Mayor of Williamsburg (for the benefit of Miss Yapp) … on Friday the 27th instant [May] will be presented a comedy, written by Shakespeare, called Merchant of Venice. … To which will be added a comedy of two acts, never performed here, called High Life Below Stairs.]
Author: Virginia Company of Comedians
Place Issued: Williamsburg
Issuing Press: Purdie & Dixon
Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; unknown (broadside).
The mayor of Williamsburg was merchant James Cocke (1 Dec. 1767 to 30 Nov. 1768). The Virginia Company of Comedians conducted at least nine performances between April 4 and June 8 of 1768. Each show was advertised in advance, with a promotional handbill for each show printed in advance, and a detailed playbill the issued the day of the performance. Of the nine known performances, promotional handbills for only four of the advertised shows and one show-time playbill have survived. Imprint is non-extant, and so title assumed from advertising notice in the Purdie & Dixon Gazette of May 19, 1768. Production of all of the company's imprints is assigned to Purdie & Dixon based on the company's advertising. They advertised all of their performances in the Purdie & Dixon Gazette, but only about half of them in that of William Rind; moreover, these performances were concurrent with the meetings of the General Assembly and the General Court, when Rind's press was producing work for the public-printing concession, making the Purdie & Dixon press the most likely origin.
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