Theater in Sister Carrie

As a journalist in both Chicago and New York, Theodore Dreiser gained a familiarity with theater that would eventually be invaluable to his development of the characters and plot in Sister Carrie. True to the naturalist school, the author is accurate and thorough in his documentation of historical background. He employs veracity to complement his fiction--his use of actual events, places and individuals gives Sister Carrie weight and grants the reader insight into city life at the end of the 19th century. Most significant among this information are his references to the theater as it gained prominence not only as a form of entertainment but also as an industry, drawing many individuals into not only the audiences but also the ranks of theatrical professionals. Included below is further information on the theater and its place in society in the late 1800s. The players, theaters and plays are all mentioned by Dreiser in his novel and the individuals, locations, plays and statistics should provide further insight into the world of entertainment that lures Carrie but can never provide her with the happiness she seeks.

Theaters of the 19th Century Players of the 19th Century Plays of the 19th Century Women in Theater