1768.007: Performance Handbill, April 15, 1768.

Published: 1768

Full Title: By permission of the Worshipful the Mayor of Williamsburg, At the old Theatre near the Capitol, by the Virginia Company of Comedians, on Friday, the 15th of April will be presented a Tragedy, called The Orphan, or the Unhappy Marriage. … To which will be added, the second night, a Pantomime entertainment, in which will be introduced a new scene, not before presented, called Harlequin skeleton, or the Burgomaster Tricked.

Author: Virginia Company of Comedians

Place Issued: Williamsburg

Issuing Press: Purdie & Dixon

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 32 x 22 cm. (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. This is one of the surviving imprints; production was uncredited by Hummel, but is assigned here 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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