Lewis Hallam

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Lewis Hallam
BornCirca 1714-->
Died1756
Occupation Actor and theatre director
Years activemid-1700s

Lewis Hallam (circa 1714–1756) was an English-born actor and theatre director in the colonial United States.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Actor Person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Theatre director person overseeing the mounting of a theatre production

A theatre director or stage director is an instructor in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director's function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production and to lead the members of the creative team into realizing their artistic vision for it. The director thereby collaborates with a team of creative individuals and other staff, coordinating research, stagecraft, costume design, props, lighting design, acting, set design, stage combat, and sound design for the production. If the production is a new piece of writing or a (new) translation of a play, the director may also work with the playwright or a translator. In contemporary theatre, after the playwright, the director is generally the principle visionary, making decisions on the artistic conception and interpretation of the play and its staging. Different directors occupy different places of authority and responsibility, depending on the structure and philosophy of individual theatre companies. Directors use a wide variety of techniques, philosophies, and levels of collaboration.

Contents

Career

Hallam is thought to have been born in about 1714 and possibly in Dublin. His father was also an actor who had been killed by actor Charles Macklin, allegedly over a wig. Many of his siblings were actors and one was said to be an admiral. Hallam had a child Isabella who was baptised in London in 1746. He and his brother, William had only moderate success in Britain and they decided to try their skills in America. [1] Hallam arrived in North America in 1752 with his theatrical company, organized by his brother William, who was joint owner of the company with him. Lewis had been an actor in William's company in England, but it had failed, prompting the North American venture. The new company landed at Yorktown, Virginia. [2]

Dublin Capital city of Ireland

Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the province of Leinster. It is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range. It has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region as of 2016 was 1,347,359. The population of the Greater Dublin Area was 1,904,806 per the 2016 census.

Charles Macklin 18th-century Irish actor

Charles Macklin, [Gaelic: Cathal MacLochlainn], was an Irish actor and dramatist who performed extensively at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Macklin revolutionised theatre in the 18th century by introducing a "natural style" of acting. He is also famous for killing a man in a fight over a wig at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Isabella Mattocks English actress and singer

Isabella Mattocks was a British actress and singer.

The company began their performances in Williamsburg, then the capital of Virginia Colony. Here they hired a large wooden structure, which was roughly altered to suit their purposes. It was so near the forest that the players were able to shoot wild fowl from the windows of the building. Their opening performance was George Granville's The Jew of Venice, which Hallam billed as Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice . [3] Music was supplied by a single player on a harpsichord. From Williamsburg, the troupe traveled to Annapolis and Philadelphia. [2]

Williamsburg, Virginia Independent city in Virginia

Williamsburg is a city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is bordered by James City County and York County.

<i>The Merchant of Venice</i> play by Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599.

Harpsichord musical instrument played by means of a keyboard

A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. Like a pipe organ, a harpsichord may have more than one keyboard manual and harpsichords may have stop buttons which add or remove additional octaves. Some harpsichords may have a lute stop, which simulates the sound of a plucked lute. This activates a row of levers that turn a trigger mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum made from quill or plastic. The strings are under tension on a soundboard, which is mounted in a wooden case; the soundboard amplifies the vibrations from the strings so that the listeners can hear it.

In 1754, Hallam built the first theater in Manhattan on Nassau Street. He and his theatre company also toured throughout the thirteen colonies. [4]

Manhattan Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Manhattan, , is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Manhattan serves as the city's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

Nassau Street (Manhattan) Street in Manhattan, New York

Nassau Street is a street in the Financial District of New York City. It is located near Pace University and City Hall. It starts at Wall Street and runs north to Spruce Street at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, located one block east of Broadway and east of Park Row, in the borough of Manhattan.

Hallam died in Jamaica, where the company had gone to perform. [2] His widow the actor Sarah Hallam Douglass (d. Philadelphia, 1773) married David Douglas, [2] with whom she formed the American Company in 1758. [4] Her son by Lewis, Lewis Hallam Jr., known as Lewis Hallam the Younger,[ citation needed ] became an actor in his mother and step father's company. [2]

Jamaica Country in the Caribbean

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola ; the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies some 215 kilometres (134 mi) to the north-west.

Sarah Hallam Douglass was an English-born American stage actress and theatre director.

Lewis Hallam Jr. 18th-century American theater manager

Lewis Hallam Jr. was an England-born American actor and theater manager, son of Lewis Hallam, one of the pioneers of Theater in the United States, and Sarah Hallam Douglass. He was the leading actor of the Old American Company, at the time the only theater in America, and the manager of the same Company in 1779-1796.

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References

  1. Jared Brown, ‘Hallam, Lewis (1714?–1756?)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 7 Feb 2015
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1892). "Hallam, William"  . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography . New York: D. Appleton.
  3. Jared Brown, ‘Hallam, Lewis (1714?–1756?)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  4. 1 2 "Lewis Hallam (see Columbia Encyclopedia text)". encyclopedia.com (a website run by HighBeam Research). Retrieved 15 January 2010.