On November 25, 1882, the public was invited to attend two performances of the “Standard Combination” version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin at Roberts’ Opera House in Hartford, Connecticut. We recently acquired a ticket to the performance, a bright yellow rectangle of cardboard with the ticket information on one side and a vignette of slaves dancing on the other side.
The performance was probably by the Howard family, who began their career in Troy, New York, in 1852 and continued performances for 35 years. George Aiken wrote the play based on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work, but stopped at the death of Eva. Shortly thereafter, he wrote a second four-act play to complete the tale. The entire work was known as “The Standard Combination.”
Roberts’ Opera House was located at 395 Main Street in Hartford. The theater opened in 1869 to wide acclaim. The space was used for not only theatrical events, but meetings and musical performances as well. See our blog post of September 30th, 2010 for more about Roberts’ Opera House and the record of programs offered.
Visit our Research Center to see this and other unique items at the Connecticut Historical Society.