Boston: 1862. Broadside, 14.25 x 6.25 inches. Slightly rumpled, light soiling. Lightly tanned. Very good. Item #1316
One of the earliest playbills to use John Wilkes Booth's infamous surname, advertising his appearance as Charles De Moor in Friedrich Schiller's play "The Robbers," from the third night of his first Boston engagement. Booth's performance in Schiller's play was highly praised and he performed the role in several cities across the country in 1862. A contemporary review described the performance as "a brilliant success," noting that Booth did three curtain calls afterward. Booth, of course, was part of a prominent theatrical family, but went on to claim ultimate infamy when he assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. He settled on a career in acting in early 1860, embarking on a series of tours as a lead actor in the South. He made his debut in New York in March 1862, followed by two quick weeks in Boston, advertised in the present playbill. He also played this same role at Ford's Theater in 1863. His status as a rising but not yet fully-fledged theatrical star is reflected in his billing at the foot of this broadside. A good example of this genre of Boothiana, from the period when his acting career began to flourish in earnest.