Temperance plays


Temperance plays
   Plays (mostly melodramas) that illustrated the evils of drink were mostly written during the decades before modernism and yet they proved surprisingly enduring. Thus, William H. Smith's The Drunkard (1844), with its horrifying scene of delirium tremens, and Ten Nights in a Barroom (1858), with the child singing "Father, dear father, come home with me now," were still finding audiences on the eve of Prohibition. Others included The Bottle, The Drunkard's Warning, and Life, or Scenes of Early Vice. George Aiken's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853), the most popular and frequently produced melodrama of the 19th century was still drawing audiences early in the 20th century, and it too conveyed the temperance message as St. Clare's good impulses are overcome by his addiction to drink.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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