In my study of theatre
, I have come across a title that I was almost shocked hadn't been spoken of more in theatrical circles, a show called "Ye Bare and Ye Cubb." And yes, that is the correct spelling
See, on August 27th, 1655 "Ye Bare and Ye Cubb" was performed in Accomac, Virginia at Fowkes' Tavern on Virginia's Eastern Shore. It was the first play ever produced in the United States colonies and thus the first American drama ever.
Dates vary for the first performance, but official Virginia historians link it to August 27th. After the first performance, the show, which has no credited playwright and is rumored to have been of a political nature was closed by the local authorities for "showing forth profane."
The case of "Ye Bare and Ye Cubb"’s blasphemy was taken to court and the second performance of the show actually took place in the court room the show was being tried in. The judge presiding over the case declared that the show was not blasphemous due to the fact that it was "entertaining."
In Anne Bogart's book A Director Prepares, claims that "Ye Bare and Ye Cubb" is "a microcosm of the macrocosm" of what American theatre would become, which is, she says, primarily "diversion" instead of "reflection."
Alongside Route 13 in Accomac, Virginia lies a Virginia Historical Highway Marker labeled "Marker # WY18: Probable Site of Fowkes Tavern, where the first play in English America 'Ye Bare and Ye Cubb,' was performed on August 27, 1665."
Before there was Death to a Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire, Our Town or Long Day's Journey into Night...there was "Ye Bare and Ye Cubb."