Prompt book for Charlotte Cushman's
production of Hamlet, ca. 1860
Papers of Charlotte Cushman
Manuscript Division (5)
In 1836, Charlotte Cushman (1816-1876) made her acting debut as
Lady Macbeth in New Orleans. That year she also played Romeo, beginning
her practice of playing both male and female roles. Cushman appeared
in London in 1845 opposite Edwin Forrest and was hailed as the
greatest actress of her time. She played tragic heroines, as well
as Hamlet, Cardinal Wolsey, and Romeo to her sister Susan's Juliet.
Cushman's prompt book for Hamlet, a role that she first
played in 1857, specifies entrances and exits, props, technical
cues, line cues, and text cuts, thus giving insight into what her
performance was like.