By Jennifer Mooney
Vaudeville is frequently considered because the resource of a few of the crude stereotypes that located the Irish immigrant in the USA because the antithesis of native-born americans. utilizing fundamental archival fabric, Mooney argues that the vaudeville degree used to be an enormous venue during which an Irish-American identification was once developed, negotiated, and subtle.
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Extra info for Irish Stereotypes in Vaudeville, 1865–1905
4547. ” An undated program for the Walnut Street theatre includes the Irish-born Billy Barry “in his original and laughable Ethiopian interlude” and the Irish jig dancer Kitty O’Neil. ”2 In addition to Irish acts, ethnic and racial acts more broadly were standard fare on vaudeville and variety bills in the second half of the nineteenth century. In September 1878, when Tony Pastor’s company performed at Poole and Donnelly’s Grand Opera House in New York, seven of the thirteen acts advertised on the bill had an obviously ethnic or racial element.
Violence between black and Irish workers was common during the 1850s and early 1860s, coming to a head in July 1863 with the New York draft riot. Resentful of conscription into the Union Army to fight for the abolition of slavery (which the majority of the Irish in America opposed) when black men were themselves excluded and those wealthy enough could avoid the draft, predominantly Irish workers launched violent attacks on black workers resulting in a large number of deaths and casualties. Despite their resistance to the draft, however, Higham suggests that the Civil War marked something of a turning point 32 Irish Stereotypes in Vaudeville, 1865–1905 in native-born Americans’ attitudes toward the Irish.
Another advertised a giveaway of such household essentials as ham, flour, and coal. In her study of male-female comedy teams in vaudeville, Staples sees the increasing presence of stylish female performers on the stage as intended to appeal to a female audience. ”32 In the same year, at a dinner of the Theatre Managers’ Association, one of the speakers echoed this view: Vaudeville is creative and progressive in its character. In behalf [sic] of the men who conduct that class of entertainment, I can say emphatically that there are no other places of amusement where stages are more generally free from suggestive or questionable scenes or incidents than the houses maintained by the managers of this class of theatrical performances.
Irish Stereotypes in Vaudeville, 1865–1905 by Jennifer Mooney