Cushman on Stage
Charlotte Cushman in Hamlet!
Broadside on silk, February 16, 1861
Charlotte Cushman (1819-1876)
Annotated prompt book and holograph page
Page 1 - Page
2 - Photograph
Charlotte Cushman (1816-1876) may have been one
of this nation's most compelling performers. She made her stage
debut as an opera singer in 1835. Improper use of her voice led
her to change her career to the dramatic stage. After much success,
she retired in 1852 but made a good many reappearances under the
guise of "farewell tours," such as this one in the Washington
Theater in the title role of Hamlet. Cushman's prompt
book for Hamlet would have aided in orchestrating
entrances, exits, props, technical cues, and line cues.
Cushman's prompt book and holograph page, for a production of Henry
VIII would have aided in orchestrating stage movement, props,
and technical and line cues. Publications such as The Prompter
served as a voice for the theater community and provided publicity
for actors and theatrical companies.