There is some debate about where the very first playhouse was located in the new country formed on the shores of the previously settled North American continent.
Dispute exists also to the claim that is was when the Hallams brought a company of actors and actresses across the pond from London to undertake a performance of the much admired “Merchants of Venice” in a playhouse in Wiliamsburg which at the time was the capital of the state of Virginia, this was the very first stage built in America, but in fact it had been around for quite sometime and had hosted many prior performances.
In pre-revolutionary America, there were some playhouses but it seems that they were somehow scattered, as were the performances contained therein. The fact that there is so little formal recording of the theatre in early settlements should come as no surprise give the nature of the Quakers and others who were vehemently opposed to any thing resembling theatre that would be considered an affront or crude to their puritanical beliefs.
While the Southern neighbors seemed to take a more liberal view the act of acting in a play or establishing a playhouse was not just frowned upon but actual laws were written in the late 1750s and early 1760s outlawing the practice in full across the North from Massachusetts to Rhode Island.
It was not until the 1800s that the expansion of playhouses began to gain acceptance and to get started in Northern States with Brooklyn in New York getting only its second playhouse in 1856.
During this time the mass exodus of new arrivals to the States began to bring their love of theatre and their disdain for religious fundamentalism of the original colonists to the seats of power with the money and influence they brought with them from England.
Thus began the rumblings of birth of what is known as modern day theatre in the new world.