Treading the Borders: Immigration and the American Stage

Edison and Newman Room
September 4–December 15, 2018

Much of the richness and vitality of the performing arts in the United States derives from creative talent originating elsewhere. This exhibition looks at how successive waves of immigrant performers—Irish, German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Puerto Rican, and more—have enlivened the American stage from the colonial era to Hamilton.

Step Back: Seeing Ballet’s Future in the Past

Amy Lowell Room
September 6 – December 18, 2018

This exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Petipa (1818-1910) came to Russia in 1847, and spent the rest of his career at the Maryinsky Imperial Ballet. He created more than 50 ballets: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty among them. On view are dance notations, photographs, costume designs, programs, books and objects from the Harvard Theatre Collection, as well as digital content. Come discover why choreographers the world over go back to Petipa to find inspiration for the future.

Stage Fright: Or the Fate of Frankenstein

Chaucer Case
September 6 – December 18, 2018

In 1823 Mary Shelley watched with trepidation as an actor in green greasepaint gave life to her “hideous progeny.” Soon, over a dozen dramatizations of Frankenstein crowded onto stages in England and France. Through prints, playbills, and play texts—including the first edition of Shelley’s novel and the earliest images of Frankenstein’s monster—this exhibit explores how nineteenth-century playwrights transformed Shelley’s original vision, setting a pattern for future reincarnations of the tale that forever altered popular culture.

© 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College