The Shakespeare Ball – Shakespeare Tercentenary Celebration

Event Information

Irving Hall

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 September 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

22 Apr 1864, Evening

Program Details

Burton Dramatic Association (NYT) / Association of Dramatic Artists.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New-York Times, 25 March 1864, 8.
“[A] grand masquerade ball , tableaux, Shakesperian [sic] music by Wallace’s full band, grand marches, &c.”
Review: New York Post, 23 April 1864, 2.
“Irving Hall was last night occupied by a very pleasant and showy assemblage . . . who gathered to do homage (by dancing) to the memory of Shakespeare.  The costumes were numerous and brilliant, but not especially Shakespearian, unless Topsy, a Yankee, Mose the fire boy, Paddy from Cork, Lady Gay Spauker and others of modern origin be attributed to the great dramatist.  We believe that it was originally intended to have all the costumes representative of Shakespearian characters, and as it was, the company were visited by Shylock, Launcelot, Gobbo, Julius Ceasar, Puck, and a few other well-known creations of the dramatist; but as a general thing this intent was not adhered to as it might have been. . . .
The whole affair was as delightful and pleasant a reunion as could be desired; nor should the excellence of the music by Wallace’s band pass unnoticed.”
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 25 April 1864, 2.

" . . . The previous evening, Friday, the society of dramatic artists formed under the name of Burton Dramatic Association, wanting to be the first to celebrate the birthday of the great dramaturge, gave a masked ball at Irving Hall. This soiree was quite dazzling. The dances were alternated with processions, song and declamation."