145 YEARS AGO (1863)
The Park Theatre Company, Brooklyn's first regular stock company, gives its inaugural performance at the 900-seat Park Theatre with J.B. Buck-stone's Married Life and J.R. Planche's The Loan of a Lover. The troupe, created by local citizen Gabriel Harrison in response to neighborhood demand, will perform for 35 years.
105 YEARS AGO (1903)
The Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Mich., begins its long tenure on Maple Street by hosting the New York Casino Company's production of A Chinese Honeymoon. Fifty years later, a young actor named James Earl Jones will find work at the Ramsdell, first as a carpenter, then as Othello.
70 YEARS AGO (1933)
In Murder at the Vanities, a musical about the slaying of a showgirl, Bela Lugosi plays his sixth and final stage role on the Great White Way.
50 YEARS AGO (1958)
President Eisenhower signs a bill establishing a National Capital Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Renamed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1964, it is the first such complex to be funded by the federal government.
30 YEARS AGO (1978)
The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, the first institution of its kind in the U.S., opens its doors to the public. Kermit the Frog and his creator, Jim Henson, cut the ceremonial ribbon.