National Theater (Grover's Theater)

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The National Theater existed in three configurations during the Civil War. Sometime in late 1861, the National Ampitheater, a "crude structure," featured circus performances. In November, a more formal structure opened. On April 24, 1862, the "New National," also known as "Grover's Theater," opened as a permanent structure and remained through the end of the war. The President attended seventeen performances at Grover's Theater between 1863 and 1685: The Lakes of Killarney, starring Barney Williams (24 February 1863); The Latest From New York Phil, starring Barney Williams (24 February 1863); Hamlet, starring E.L. Davenport (25 March 1863); Othello, starring E.L. Davenport (6 October 1863); The Ticket of Leave-Man (23 January 1864); The Iron Chest, starring Edwin Booth (19 February 1864); Catherine and Petruchio, starring Booth (19 February 1864); Brutus, starring Booth (25 February 1864); The Merchant of Venice, starring Booth as Shylock (26 February 1864); Don Caesar de Bazan, starring Booth (26 February 1864); Hamlet, starring Booth (2 March 1864); Richelieu, starring Booth (4 March 1864); The Fool's Revenge, starring Booth as Burteccio (7 March 1864); Too Much For Good Nature (7 March 1864); Richard III, starring Booth (10 March 1864); Hamlet, starring E.L. Davenport (15 November 1864); the Treasury Department Ball and Promenade Concert (19 December 1864); and Leah, The Forsaken, starring Avonia Jones (7 January 1865).


  • Morrison, Andrew, Theatre Guide of Washington, D.C., (Washington, DC: The Theatre Historical Society, 1972). View source information