fbpx Theatre History Podcast # 1 | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Theatre History Podcast # 1

Talking About Drugs (and Theatre) with Max Shulman

One of the main reasons that theatre's so thrilling and vital is that, unlike movies or TV shows, it involves a live performance that happens right before our eyes. However, that same quality also makes it almost impossible to recapture that live experience, and it can make studying the history of the theatre difficult. 

This podcast will try to help listeners understand and learn more about theatre history across a myriad of time periods and cultures. It features interviews with academics, artists, and others who are working to rediscover forgotten stories from the theatrical past and to create new art and scholarship from them. 

vintage photo of an actress
Dorothy Donnelly in 1909, around the time that Madame X premiered in the United States.
Image via University of Washington Libraries.​

Our first guest is Max Shulman, assistant professor of Theatre in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. We discuss his research on drugs on the American stage at the turn of the twentieth century, especially the hit melodrama Madame X, which was a sensational success for actresses Dorothy Donnelly and Sarah Bernhardt.


You can subscribe to this series via Apple iTunes or RSS Feed or just click on the link below to listen:

Thoughts from the curator

This podcast aims to introduce listeners to the artists, scholars, and archivists who are working to bring the history of performance to life. We hope that, by listening to this show, you’ll learn about exciting new performances, fascinating books, and valuable repositories of knowledge, all of which will help you better understand theatre’s history.

Theatre History Podcast


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The discussion about representation of drug addicts and how it still informs our views today is especially insightful in this episode. Thank you for this!