Anna Cora Mowatt essay by John Cline

As stated in the text (The Lady Actress), actors and actresses were viewed as low and common person (2). Notable scholars commented freely on how the American public did not seem to accept theatrical expectations as proper. Actors and actresses alike were thought to be of low moral character, free-spirited and drunkards. Another scholar, Clara Morris, retorted that actors were not taken seriously because they were “buffoons” (p. 3). Because of this negative stereotype, actors were seen as having no social standing. To add to this chagrin, actors and actresses were also openly ridiculed in religious setting by figures such as Reverand Robert Hatfield, who declared the theater the “haunt of sinners” (p. 4).
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